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News Archive - November 2012

Dual-Fuel System Aims to Lower NGV Transition Costs
November 29th, 2012 - Despite the U.S. trucking industry's growing interest in using natural gas to power its vehicles, many motor carriers remain stymied by the high sticker price for trucks designed to run on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as by the lack of natural gas refueling locations across the country. As result, several firms are offering fleets a way to split the difference via lower-cost retrofit “dual fuel” systems – allowing trucks to operate on CNG or LNG and diesel, while eliminating concerns about the adequacy of natural gas refueling locations. READ MORE >

Where We Stand: Heavy-Duty Trucking And Natural Gas
November 28th, 2012 - As 2012 draws closer to its sunset, the heavy-duty trucking sector is peering into 2013 with both trepidation and anticipation. Regarding the former, concern about where diesel prices are heading dominate the discussion. In terms of the latter, many fleets are eager to see how the early adopters of natural-gas-powered Class 8 trucks are faring. Fuel costs, of course, are central to the discourse. Diesel spiked this week, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration reporting the national average at $4.034/gallon on Nov. 26. Prices for natural gas as a transportation fuel, on the other hand, have been much lower and steady. READ MORE >

Westport Debuts Big Advancement In LNG Fuel Storage For Natural Gas Trucks
November 26th, 2012 - Westport Innovations Inc. has released its new Westport LNG Tank System - an on-board liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage platform that is designed to boost the performance and range of vehicles that use spark-ignited natural gas engines. Anticipated for market launch in the middle of next year, the 120- and 150-gallon systems are designed to be single-tank solutions that allow large natural gas trucks to run approximately 350/450 miles, respectively, on cold (unsaturated) LNG. Dual-tank configurations are also possible - and yield a range of 700/900 miles. READ MORE >

California NGV Coalition Advocates for a Plan Including Natural Gas Vehicles
November 22nd, 2012 - The governor’s offce recently requested feedback on its draft 2012 ZEV Action Plan, and the California NGV Coalition responded with a letter making the case for a broader alternative fuels action plan for transportation in the state. The Coalition’s letter states that heavy-duty applications are the weakest link in the plan. In this sense, there are roughly a million trucks operating in California, which account for 30 percent of the NOx emissions and 40 percent of the PM emissions. Natural gas trucks could account for 30 to 40 percent of new truck purchases, the letter says. Retroftting diesel trucks already on the road to run on cleaner natural gas would further lower emissions and reduce dependence on foreign oil. READ MORE >

U.S. Energy Department Unveils New Projects to Spur Adoption of AFVs
November 20th, 2012 - As part of the Obama Administration's energy strategy, the Energy Department is investing about $11 million in 20 projects to help states and local governments cut red tape and develop the infrastructure, training, and regional planning needed to meet the demand for alternative fuel cars and trucks, including vehicles that run on natural gas, electricity, and propane. The projects will be undertaken across 17 states. Through the Department's Clean Cities initiative, these projects address a range of community infrastructure and training needs, such as providing safety and technical training for fleet operators, mechanics, first responders, and code officials; streamlining permitting and procurement processes; and helping public and private fleets integrate petroleum reduction strategies into their operations. READ MORE >

Natural Gas Industry Spawning New Conferences, Associations
November 20th, 2012 - The growth of North America’s natural gas industry is creating a surge in another industry as well—meetings and conferences. For fleets that want to learn more about natural gas vehicles, more and more resources are becoming available. Follow the link for a listing of some of the organizations, conferences, and events where you can find information about natural gas. READ MORE >

Linde Announces the Successful Trial of its LNG Mobile Fueling Unit
November 16th, 2012 - Linde's mobile fueler allowed customers to test the feasibility of using LNG as an alternative to fuels such as diesel. The trial was performed in collaboration with C Cross Transportation, a Mississippi-based hauler with a fleet of more than 100 tractors, to set up the fuel supply for an LNG tractor the company is testing in South Carolina. The Linde team managed the logistics, arranged the installation, safely deployed the equipment and supplied the needed training. READ MORE >

Ryder's Natural Gas Fleet: Six Million Miles Logged
November 15th, 2012 - Ryder System Inc. says its fleet of 250 natural gas vehicles - 35 liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 215 compressed natural gas (CNG) heavy-duty tractors - has surpassing six million miles of operation. The company notes that these NGVs are being used in almost three dozen customer operations in Michigan, Arizona and California. Ryder's natural gas truck program, which kicked off last year, is tied heavily to a major initiative among Ryder, the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) and the Southern California Association of Governments Clean Cities Coalition. READ MORE >

Texas Department of Transportation Releases NGV Pilot Program
November 15th, 2012 - In an effort to improve air quality, increase efficiency and utilize the states’ abundant natural gas resources, the agency will test CNG-powered vehicles to perform daily operations. “As an agency with one of the largest fleets and most miles traveled, it’s incumbent upon TxDOT to find more efficient ways to do business, yet still provide Texans with exceptional service,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Bill Meadows during the announcement at Irving Clean Energy station. READ MORE >

GE and Clean Energy Team Up on Massive Natural Gas Initiative
November 13th, 2012 - General Electric (GE) and Clean Energy Fuels have announced a collaboration to expand the infrastructure for natural gas transportation in the United States. As part of the collaboration, Clean Energy Fuels will initially purchase two ecomagination-qualified MicroLNG plants from GE Oil & Gas. The plug-and-play modular units, which are designed to rapidly liquefy natural gas while minimizing a site’s physical footprint, will support fueling stations along critical transportation corridors that run across the U.S. Further underscoring GE’s commitment to expanding natural gas transportation infrastructure, GE Energy Financial Services is providing up to $200 million in financing for the two GE MicroLNG plants. READ MORE >

Detroit Three Taking Different Roads to Bi-Fuel, CNG Vehicles
November 13th, 2012 - Automakers are offering more alternative fuel options to retail and fleet customers than ever before. One alternative -- compressed natural gas -- is slowly finding its way into the retail market as an increasing number of automakers, including the Detroit Three, offer vehicles that use the majority-methane fossil fuel. Four major automakers currently offer 10 all-CNG or bi-fuel CNG vehicles in the U.S. with more expected as fuel economy standards tighten and infrastructure increases. READ MORE >

Natural Gas: The Next Step on the Road to Hydrogen
November 13th, 2012 - The answer may have been under our noses all along. Natural gas (NG), the same energy source we use to fry our bacon and to warm our living rooms, is finally under serious scrutiny as a means of powering our cars and trucks. Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens has been singing NG’s praises for more than a decade. President Obama, attacked by Republican candidates for his blue-sky energy policies, recently joined the chorus by proposing legislation to extend hybrid and electric-car incentives to this alternative fuel. FedEx and UPS are both in the early stages of converting their fleets to run on NG. By the end of this year, everyday consumers will be able to buy not just natural-gas Honda Civics but Chevy, Ford, GMC, and Ram pickups running on NG as well. READ MORE >

WM Touts CNG Refuse Vehicles' Role In Sustainability
November 13th, 2012 - Waste Management Inc. (WM), one of the largest recycling and refuse disposal companies in the U.S., has released its 2012 corporate sustainability report, which highlights the role that natural gas vehicles (NGVs) have played in meeting environmental goals. Since 2007, WM has reduced its fleet's CO2 emissions by 20%, which exceeds the goal the company had originally intended: a 15% reduction by 2020. Much of these improvements are the result of the company's transition to compressed natural gas (CNG) collection vehicles, WM says. Today, 1,600 natural-gas-powered refuse trucks are operating in the fleet. Each of those vehicles eliminates the consumption of 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually, as well as reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by 21%. READ MORE >

Ryder System Hosts Natural Gas Truck Test Drive Events
November 13th, 2012 - Ryder System, Inc., a leader in commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions, recently hosted several open house events in Southern California to promote the benefits of natural gas vehicles for commercial fleets. At the events, held at Ryder facilities on October 30 in Orange, California and November 1 in Rancho Dominguez, California, customers and other local businesses had the opportunity to meet with Ryder alternative fuel vehicle specialists and test drive both heavy duty and medium duty natural gas vehicles. READ MORE >

GM Starts CNG Pickup Production
November 12th, 2012 - Production of the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra 2500 HD bi-fuel CNG pickup trucks is underway in Fort Wayne, Ind., General Motors said late last week, announcing that the vehicles are available for order by fleet and retail customers through Chevrolet and GMC dealers. The trucks are converted to bi-fuel CNG-gasoline operation by Impco Automotive in Union City, Ind. Impco uses a single, Type III, carbon fiber-on-aluminum, 17 gasoline gallon equivalent fuel cylinder by Worthington-SCI (Structural Composites Industries). READ MORE >

NREL/DOE Launch New Alternative Transportation Web Tools
November 9th, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has launched a new tool and redesigned DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center Web site to help fleet managers, municipalities and consumers choose from a wide variety of alternative fuels and energy efficiency strategies for reducing petroleum use, vehicle emissions, and operating costs. The AFDC’s new Petroleum Reduction Planning Tool is an interactive Web application that allows fleet managers to evaluate the benefits associated with five alternative fuels – biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, natural gas and propane – along with a variety of efficiency measures, such as idle reduction and fuel economy improvements. READ MORE >

Combined CNG and LNG Refueling Site over the Horizon in Blythe, CA
November 9th, 2012 - The California Energy Commission is looking into a grant application from Blackhawk Logistics LLC that seeks funding to help develop a public-access liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling facility in Blythe, Calif. The company, a joint venture between HayDay Farms Inc. and Border Valley Trading Ltd., says the station will serve Blackhawk Logistics' fleet of 40 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles, as well as those from fleets such as Swift, Western Milling, Apex Bulk Commodities, Mallet and Sons, Coachella Valley Ice Co., the Palo Verde Irrigation District, and the City of Blythe. The public would also have access to the facility. READ MORE >

Ripon to Develop Infrastructure for the Use of Natural Gas Buses
November 9th, 2012 - In the coming months the City of Ripon, in California, will have one of the cleanest running buses ferrying passengers around town. But first improvements are needed at the city corporation yard. No discussion was necessary last Tuesday as elected officials agreed on the go-ahead plans to improve the future corporate yard site. The City of Ripon purchased a compressed natural gas bus not too long ago. With it came the expansion of the CNG fueling station that will provide the timefill alternative fuel for the bus. The city, in addition, received $300.000 of grant funding to construct a secured storage area for a CNG bus as well as the expansion of the CNG fueling station. READ MORE >

AQMD Approves $34.2 Million to Replace, Clean Up Diesel School Buses
November 2nd, 2012 - The South Coast Air Quality Management District today awarded $32.9 million to help school districts in the Southland purchase clean-burning compressed natural gas and propane buses to replace older diesel school buses in their fleets. The district also awarded an additional $1.3 million to help retrofit diesel school buses with particulate matter (PM) traps to reduce diesel emissions. AQMD’s action provides funding to more than 30 public school districts and private school bus carriers in the Southland to replace 193 pre-1994 diesel school buses with cleaner-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane buses, retrofit 66 existing diesel buses with PM traps and install necessary fueling infrastructure. READ MORE >

Clean Energy Releases Second Edition of Road to Natural Gas
November 2nd, 2012 - Clean Energy Fuels Corp. released the second edition of "The Road to Natural Gas," an update of truck companies, refuse haulers, fleet operators, airports, municipalities and other organizations which are making the switch to natural gas with transportation fuel, station construction and services provided by Clean Energy. The second edition of The Road to Natural Gas contains a listing of agreements signed or executed since the first edition was released on July 31, 2012. Also included is a list of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) stations completed over the last three months as part of Clean Energy's America's Natural Gas Highway®. Many of the new stations are located at Pilot Flying J truck stops, Clean Energy's partner. READ MORE >
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