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News Archive - March 2012

Natural-Gas Vehicles Will Run Best Without Subsidies
March 29th, 2012 - Almost miraculously, the U.S. is both reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions and becoming increasingly energy independent. As Bloomberg News recently reported, the share of U.S. energy demand met by domestic sources increased to 81 percent through the first 10 months of 2011 -- the highest level in 20 years -- and emissions are expected to decline 12 percent by 2020. A major factor in both trends is increased use of natural gas, a cleaner-burning fossil fuel now being extracted in abundance across the country. Hydraulic fracturing, a new production technology also known as fracking, has helped push prices for the fuel to a decade low, and has created plenty of jobs in the process. READ MORE >

Los Angeles Dodgers Offer Fans CNG Shuttle Service
March 28th, 2012 - Along with Metro, the baseball team will once provide a clean fuel transit service from Union Station to the stadium this season through a $300,000 grant approved by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC). Service will begin on April 3 before the Dodgers' exhibition game against the Angels and continue throughout the season. The Dodger Stadium Express bus service will be provided by Veolia Transportation under contract to Metro, which will deploy state-of-the-art 40-foot compressed natural gas powered vehicles. READ MORE >

Truck Fleet Operators are Turning to Natural Gas Power
March 27th, 2012 - In increasing numbers, major U.S. contract freight carriers are deploying heavy duty natural gas powered trucks to support their customers’ supply chain transport requirements. Clean Energy Fuels Corp. contracts with carrier fleet operators to provide compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling services at Clean Energy public access stations nationwide. Among the most recent for-hire fleet operators to opt for natural gas fuel are Premier Transportation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia; Transplace, Frisco, Texas, and Glacier Transportation & Logistics, Atlanta, Georgia; Dillon Transportation LLC, Burr Ridge, Illinois; C.R. England, Salt Lake City, Utah; Ryder Dedicated Logistics, El Segundo, California; CEVA Logistics, Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; and Werner Enterprises, Omaha, Nebraska. READ MORE >

Cummins Developing 15-Liter On-Highway Natural Gas Engine; Latest EcoFit Technologies at MATS
March 22nd, 2012 - Cummins Inc. has begun development of a 15-liter heavy-duty, spark-ignited natural gas engine to meet demand for on-highway applications. As natural gas production grows in North America and the fuel becomes more readily available, Cummins believes that there is a strong market for engines powered by an alternative to diesel fuel. Cummins has been investing significantly in the development of natural gas engines. In addition to its off-highway natural gas engines, Cummins is already producing on-highway spark-ignited natural gas engines for Cummins Westport, its joint venture with Westport Innovations in Vancouver, British Columbia. Engines offered by Cummins Westport range in size from 5.9 liters to the recently announced 12-liter ISX12 G, which will begin production in 2013. READ MORE >

Ryder Recognized by Arizona Clean Cities Coalitions for Natural Gas Leadership
March 22nd, 2012 - Ryder System, Inc., a leader in commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions, today announced it was recognized as a Clear Air Champion by the Tucson and Phoenix Clean Cities Coalition at the Arizona Clean Cities Coalitions’ Legislative Breakfast, which was recently held at the Arizona State Capital. Ryder was honored as a major contributor to the development of alternative fuel vehicle technologies in the state of Arizona. Ryder became the first fleet provider to offer heavy-duty natural gas vehicles for the leasing and rental industry through a groundbreaking natural gas vehicle project with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California announced in 2010. READ MORE >

California NGV Coalition Highlights the Growing Public and Private Interest in Natural Gas
March 20th, 2012 - The 2012 Green Truck Summit and Work Truck Show, held March 5–8 in Indianapolis, illustrated how much more receptive feet operators have become to alternative fuels, reports the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition in its CalNGV News published on March 19. Coalition President Tim Carmichael, who moderated a panel soon after the keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, said the rise in gasoline prices has defnitely sparked interest. He notes that Chu was enthusiastic about natural gas, especially for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. READ MORE >

Energy Commission Awards More Than $8.5 Million to Bring Natural Gas and Propane-Powered Vehicles to California
March 15th, 2012 - The California Energy Commission approved funding of $8,554,000 to help bring natural gas and propane-powered shuttle buses, cars and trucks to California's roadways. The awards are funded by the Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The Energy Commission already has awarded nearly $20.5 million to help buyers afford new, alternative-fueled passenger vehicles and medium- and heavy-duty buses and trucks. The on-road vehicles meet all the emission requirements of the Air Resources Board and are fully warranted by the original equipment manufacturer. READ MORE >

Ryder Enhances Alternative Fuels Website
March 15th, 2012 - Ryder System, Inc., a leader in commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions, announced that it has enhanced its alternative fuels website at by making new tools and video training available to customers and fleet owners who want to take advantage of the cost-saving and sustainable benefits of utilizing commercial natural gas vehicles. The enhancements include an interactive Fuel Cost Savings Calculator that allows customers to compare fuel costs between diesel- and natural gas-powered commercial vehicles based on their business' driving habits in real time. READ MORE >

PA Representatives Launch NGV Legislations
March 14th, 2012 - While Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) announced the introduction of House Bill 2251, aimed at mainstreaming the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel in Pennsylvania, Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga) unveiled House Bill 934, which also encourages CNG development across the Commonwealth. Both measures will task a portion of the state’s Clean Air Fund, which currently has approximately $35 million, designed to support clean-air initiatives. READ MORE >

Clean Energy Opens to Public Florida’s First Airport-Based CNG Station
March 13th, 2012 - Through an agreement with the airport authority, the company will operate and maintain the fueling point at Tampa International Airport for a term of 20 years. Of the Aviation Authority’s 115-vehicle fleet, 16% are currently operating on CNG. Within five years, that is projected to increase to 53%, and 72% within 10 years. In addition, 16 new Economy Parking Garage shuttle buses are already scheduled for arrival, while one existing vehicle has been identified for future conversion. READ MORE >

NatGas Is Rolling...In Chrysler, GM Pickups Fueled by 'CNG In A Box,' NGI Reports
March 12th, 2012 - The swing toward natural gas vehicles (NGV) took on aspects of a bandwagon last week as two major automakers paraded out new natural gas-powered pickup trucks, and General Electric (GE) and Chesapeake Energy Corp. heralded a new "CNG In A Box" fueling station design, Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) reports. Not to be left out, American Honda Motor Co., which bills itself as the only automaker selling natural gas-powered passenger cars in the U.S. (Honda Civic), said it would help to answer the "chicken and egg" conundrum by installing compressed natural gas (CNG) pumps in some of its dealerships. READ MORE >

Obama Visits Daimler Plant in North Carolina to Promote Natural Gas Vehicles
March 8th, 2012 - President Obama used a visit to a Daimler plant in North Carolina that makes trucks that run on natural gas as a platform to promote his energy agenda, and in the process continued to push the green-vehicle envelope. Among other things, the president touted a $1 billion “Race for the Top”-type challenge for alternative vehicle infrastructure development in up to 15 cities and a boost in the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit from $7.500 to $10.000. These are ideas the President has talked about before, but they were offered with new twists this time around—an enthusiasm for including natural gas vehicles in the programs. READ MORE >

GE Joins Chesapeake to Speed Adoption of NGVs and Boost Fueling Network
March 8th, 2012 - The initiative involves a multi-year collaboration to develop products and services that will bring to market CNG and LNG transportation and natural gas home-fueling solutions to lower the ownership and operational costs of fueling stations. Beginning in the fall of 2012 GE will provide more than 250 modular and standardized CNG compression stations for NGV infrastructure. These units, also known as ‘CNG In A Box(TM),’ have gone through GE's rigorous ecomagination-qualification process and will offer the core infrastructure to enable expanded access to CNG at fueling stations and other designated installations. READ MORE >

Honda Looks to Dealers to Boost Natural Gas Station Network
March 7th, 2012 - Honda Motor Co., the only automaker selling compressed natural gas-powered cars to U.S. drivers, wants some of its dealers to also install pumps to sell the fuel as its seeks to double sales of CNG vehicles. Honda’s strategy of marketing autos powered by natural gas, a domestically sourced fuel that’s cheaper than gasoline and emits less tailpipe exhaust, comes as U.S.-based competitors plan their own CNG models. General Motors Co. (GM) and Chrysler Group LLC this week both said they’re readying pickups that will run on the fuel. READ MORE >

Growing Customer Support for Natural Gas Vehicles Convinces Companies
March 7th, 2012 - Decade-low natural gas prices in the US are helping whet consumer appetite for natural gas vehicles, and Ryder Trucks is getting in on the action. In addition to the immediate financial benefits, natural gas vehicles (NGVs) can also help companies achieve their corporate sustainability initiatives, says Scott Perry, Vice President, Supply Management at Ryder. Companies can benefit from decreased greenhouse gas emissions and advance their alternative fuel agendas by opting for trucks powered by natural gas. READ MORE >

Chrysler Will Offer North America’s First OEM CNG-Powered Pickup
March 7th, 2012 - Ram Truck, newest vehicle brand of Chrysler Group LLC, will become the only automaker in the country to offer a factory-built pickup that features both natural gas storage tanks and an 8-gallon gasoline fuel tank. The Ram 2500 HD CNG system, which was fully engineered and tested by Chrysler Group and assembled at the company's Heavy Duty truck plant in Saltillo (Mexico), features a 5.7-liter HEMI bi-fuel engine that has been modified to run on compressed natural gas as well as gasoline. CNG-only range is estimated to be 255 miles, while the backup supply of gasoline extends the range to 367 total miles. The company is currently taking fleet orders and plans to deliver the first vehicles in July 2012, with price starting at $47,500. READ MORE >

DOE's Chu: Natural Gas is a 'No-Brainer
March 6th, 2012 - Natural gas is "no longer a debate" for fueling commercial vehicle fleets, said U.S. Dept. of Energy Secretary Steven Chu at this year's Green Truck Summit, which opened March 5 in Indianapolis. Chu likened America's fuel crisis to a beef-eater who can no longer afford to buy beef. With crude oil prices at well over $100 per barrel, producers are investing in riskier sources, Chu said. Arctic or deepwater oil wells cost as much as $5 billion each to start up, so producers want to get the highest price possible for the investment. READ MORE >

GM Adds Natural-Gas Option to Big Heavy-Duty Pickups
March 5th, 2012 - At long last, a Detroit automaker is finally waking up to the potential of natural gas -- a fuel that's clean, cheap and domestically produced. General Motors is announcing today that it will make 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD extended cab pickups that can run on both natural gas and gasoline. Best of all, owners can easily switch between the two. The trucks use a Vortec 6-liter V-8 engine that seamlessly transitions between compressed natural gas and gasoline fuel systems. READ MORE >

Saddle Creek Unveiled New CNG-powered Trucks and Filling Station
March 1st, 2012 - The company invested about $22 million in the 40 vehicles and the fueling facility and expects to add another 80 such natural gas trucks in coming months. "It's going to take over 4 million pounds of carbon out of the atmosphere every year," said Saddle Creek President Michael DelBovo. "That's huge." Saddle Creek is the first freight company in Florida to introduce CNG to its fleet. Moreover, Republic Services in Polk County, which provides garbage collection services in the area, is already using natural gas in its vehicles, reported The Ledger. READ MORE >

Window Maker Andersen Looks to Natural Gas Fueled Fleet
March 1st, 2012 - Andersen Corporation will open a new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station at a Cenex station near the company's plant in Menomonie, Wisconsin. The Bayport-based manufacturer has converted seven trucks in its leased fleet to run on natural gas between the Twin Cities and Wisconsin. That could save the company between $1.25 and $1.75 per gallon, depending upon the cost of diesel, the company said. Diesel is selling for more than $4 a gallon nationally, higher than the cost of a gallon of regular gas. In the Twin Cities on Wednesday, diesel cost $4.05 a gallon while regular was $3.65. Andersen began working on converting a small portion of its natural gas fleet about 18 months ago, company spokeswoman Susan Roeder said. It was a way to save money on fuel and boost the company's sustainability program, she said. READ MORE >
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