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News Archive - June 2012

Westport and GM Sign Additional Deal to Advance NGV Engine Production
June 27th, 2012 - The agreement includes a second development program to continue to bring both companies’ extensive expertise in natural gas engine controls, emissions and performance strategies. This new project will optimize advanced natural gas technologies and applications for maximum CO2 reduction and fuel efficiency in light-duty vehicles. "The expansion of our advanced natural gas technology collaboration with GM provides the potential for greater fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions for the industry and the consumer," said Ian Scott, President of Westport Light Duty. "Our continued growth in light-duty is an important part of Westport's overall commitment to innovative natural gas transportation solutions." READ MORE >

Natural Gas Vehicles Poised to Penetrate U.S. Long Haul Trucking Fleet
June 22nd, 2012 - Vehicles fueled by liquid natural gas (LNG) are poised to penetrate heavy duty trucking due to low natural gas prices resulting from the United States’ unconventional gas boom, according to a new IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates (IHS CERA) report. Unlike light-duty vehicles (LDVs), the economics are favorable to both vehicle owners and LNG suppliers, the report says. Heavy duty vehicles—unlike LDVs—repeatedly travel set shipping routes over long distances (up to 120.000 miles per year). These long distances allow truck operators to generate large savings on fuel costs over a short period of time while the high degree of regular traffic over the same routes and the high volume of fuel carried per truck makes supplying LNG economical for retailers, the report says. READ MORE >

NGV2012 Bologna was a Howling Success
June 21st, 2012 - Approximately 2.500 visitors took part of the event, including all specialised operators and experts coming from 40 countries. Many people also tour the 77 stands that formed the exhibition: companies from Italy and from other 20 countries from all over the world –such as China, India, Argentina, New Zealand and USA, just to mention a few of them- have presented their products and services at the BolognaFiere premises. Trevor Fletcher, NGVA Europe former President, greeted the guests underlining how NGV sector represents a real interest for many local and international companies, just like the Bologna event has showed once again. READ MORE >

New Jersey Natural Gas Gets Approval to Build Refueling Stations
June 19th, 2012 - Wall-based New Jersey Natural Gas on Thursday received approval from the state to begin building natural gas refueling stations across the state in a $10 million pilot program to stimulate the use of natural gas-powered vehicles. The company wants to build between five and seven refueling stations in its service area over the next year, according to a company release. “With the availability and price benefit of today’s natural gas, we have an opportunity to help grow our economy and protect our environment by encouraging the market for alternative fuel vehicles, and that’s good for New Jersey and our future,” Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Natural Gas, said in the release. READ MORE >

A Bright Future for Natural Gas
June 15th, 2012 - A panel of leaders in the natural gas industry addressed attendees on the viability of alternative-fuel vehicles in the trucking industry during a session at the Great West Fleet Executive Conference. Tim Carmichael, president of the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, said two key factors over the next year and a half will help drive acceptance of natural gas vehicles in the commercial market. First, Carmichael said, is the infrastructure buildout of fueling stations to support fleets using natural gas in their operations. Secondly, Carmichael said the 12- and 13-liter natural gas engine offerings coming in the near term with high horsepower will satisfy the need of many fleets. “This is a huge game-changer,” he said. “You’ll address one of the biggest challenges that fleets have put out there as to why they aren’t going to natural gas with bigger orders already.” READ MORE >

California Energy Commission Awards More than $23M to Encourage Use of Alternative Transportation Fuels
June 14th, 2012 - The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved funding of $23,110,015 for projects that will advance the development of green fuels, and the installation of fueling stations. The awards are provided through the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. The program provides approximately $100 million annually to encourage the development and use of alternative andrenewable fuels and new vehicle technologies. By leveraging outside funding, many of these projects also attract additional investment in clean energy technology. READ MORE >

ACT Expo Highlights Natural Gas Truck Tsunami About to Hit the USA
June 14th, 2012 - NGV Global’s Technical Chair, Dr Alex Lawson attended the ACT Expo in Long Beach, California last month and filed the following report: For delegates attending the 2012 Alternative Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach California, May 15 – 17, it became very evident that natural gas vehicles, especially in the heavy duty sector, had now become predominant compared with all other alternative clean transportation approaches. The reason for this growth is clear. The advent of shale gas with the decoupling of NG price from conventional oil, has resulted in a price spread from about $4 per gall for diesel vs just over $2 per DGE for LNG, that is LNG isabout half the price of diesel. READ MORE >

Pennsylvania Announces $20 Million Grant Program to Convert Vehicles to Natural Gas
June 14th, 2012 - On June 4, 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced a $20 million competitive grant program for companies and organizations to convert fleet vehicles to be fueled by natural gas. The grant program will be helpful to companies and other entities seeking to reduce fuel costs associated with operating fleet vehicles. The program will also play a role in developing natural gas fueling stations that are accessible to the public. In response to the enormous amount of natural gas now available in Pennsylvania as a result of the development of the Marcellus shale gas "play," the General Assembly authorized this grant program to promote the use of this home-grown natural resource. READ MORE >

Great West Fleet Panel: California Offers Challenges, Opportunities
June 13th, 2012 - Dealing with California Air Resources Board regulations, congestion, limited parking and frequent inspections can make operating in California one big headache. But a panel of fleet executives at the inaugural Great West Fleet Executive Conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 13, told attendees that there also are plenty of opportunities in the Sunshine State. In the future, the panelists agreed that diesel will play a reduced role in their fleets. “Looking out 20 years, I think the fuel for our industry is going to be natural gas,” said Paul Truman, president of Truline Corp. and Estenson Logistics. “The problem is the equipment makers are too slow. They need to build more to gain economies of scale so they can close that price differential, which right now is about $50,000 to 60,000″ over diesel-powered trucks, he said. READ MORE >

Mack Expands its Natural Gas Powered Offerings
June 12th, 2012 - The truck manufacturer yesterday announced it plans to offer methane-fueled versions of the MACK® Pinnacle™ and MACK® Granite® models in 2013. Both models will utilize the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine. Customer testing is scheduled to begin this year. The addition of the 12-liter natural gas-powered models expands Mack’s current natural gas solutions to on-highway and construction applications. “Mack has a long history in alternative driveline technologies, and in particular, natural gas,” said Kevin Flaherty, president, Mack Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. “We’ve offered natural gas since it became clear that it was a viable energy solution in the refuse segment. Now customers within the regional haul, LTL and construction segments will have the benefits of natural gas combined with the power and performance they expect from Mack.” READ MORE >

Sacramento Firms Break Ground on the Country’s Largest Waste-to-Fuel Plant
June 11th, 2012 - Clean World Partners and Atlas Disposal Industries have begun the construction of a commercial-scale, high solids anaerobic digestion (AD) system. Clean World Partners' Organic Waste Recycling Center will convert 25 tons of food waste per day collected by Atlas Disposal from area food processing companies, restaurants and supermarkets into renewable natural gas. Located at the South Area Transfer Station in Sacramento, the new facility will include California's first AD-based renewable natural gas fueling station, which will serve Atlas Disposal‘s fleet as well as vehicles from area jurisdictions and agencies. Natural gas produced from the initial 25-ton per day operation would fuel approximately 80 school buses for one year. READ MORE >

New Flyer Delivers 20 Natural Gas-Dedicated Buses to Culver City
June 6th, 2012 - The manufacturer of heavy-duty passenger vehicles in Canada and the United States yesterday announced the shipment of the first CNG public transport units using the new Xcelsior Platform to Culver CityBus, in western Los Angeles County, California. These buses will support their fleet renewal and customer enhancement strategies. The order for twenty low-floor Xcelsior (XN40) buses was placed using options from another US transit agency for a total purchase price of approximately eleven million US dollars. The twenty Xcelsior buses are ideal for high-capacity, high-frequency routes and assist with reducing road congestion using in part, Bus Rapid Transit technologies. READ MORE >

Natural Gas Pump Prices Won't Rise Much, Clean Energy Exec Says
June 5th, 2012 - Prices paid at the pump for natural gas by truck operators won't rise much even if gas's basic price doubles, said an executive with Clean Energy, a company now setting up retail NG filling stations and selling the fuel. Jim Harger, Clean Energy's chief marketing officer, said a recent prediction by the president of Shell Oil that NG's price might double in a few years pertained to its commodities price, which only remotely affects pump price. Vast supplies of natural gas will help keep down both its commodities and pump prices, he believes. "Our country is rich in NG," he said. "Reserves are estimated to be 8,000 trillion cubic feet (TCF); 50% is deemed recoverable and the country consumes 20 TCF per year. So we have a 200-year supply. With technology improvements, we'll likely be able to go after the balance of 4,000 TCF that we know is in the ground today." READ MORE >

Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s Renewable Natural Gas Bill Passes Californian Assembly
June 5th, 2012 - Assembly Bill 1900, authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), a bill which removes barriers to the development of renewable natural gas (RNG) as a fuel in California, passed the Assembly Floor by a vote of 64-2. In conjunction with AB 2196 (joint authored by Assemblymen Gatto and Wesley Chesbro), AB 1900 will change the counterproductive current regime that forces California companies to waste their natural resources and forces California utilities to buy RNG out of state, and will honor existing biomethane contracts signed by municipal utilities throughout the state. READ MORE >

Chicago to Succeed in Deploying at Least 225 CNG Cabs by End of June
June 4th, 2012 - World CNG, a company specializing in alternative fuel packaging and applications, last week announced that with over 150 natural gas taxicabs currently in operation in the area, the company is on track to reach a grand total of 225 by the end of the second quarter of this year. Demand for World CNG’s Ford Escape –the only CNG-powered mini-SUV on the market– is robust, with over 150 units in operation. The popularity of the Ford Escape CNG is complemented by sales of World CNG’s Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Ford Crown Victoria models. Although CNG-powered vehicles still comprise less than 5 of the 7000+ Chicago-area taxicabs, a growing awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of converting to CNG has driven demand for World CNG vehicles. READ MORE >

Energy Commission Pumps $35 Million Into California Green Transportation
June 1st, 2012 - The California Energy Commission (CEC) has unanimously approved funding of approximately $35 million to projects meant to accelerate the development of green fuels and technology in California. "These awards support a diversity of alternative fuel and vehicle types, including biodiesel production, natural gas vehicle technologies and incentives, and E85 fueling stations, which together provide a crucial boost to the development of clean energy transportation in the state," says Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman. These awards are provided through the CEC's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The program, created by A.B.118, provides approximately $100 million annually to encourage the development and use of new vehicle technologies and alternative fuels to help the state fulfill its climate change policies. READ MORE >
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