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News Archive - December 2012

California May Ease Upfit Rules: Meeting on January 22 on Streamlining Alt Fuels Certifications
December 28th, 2012 - The California Air Resources Board will hold a workshop in El Monte on January 22 to begin the process of streamlining the state’s stringent requirements for alternative fuel and other vehicle conversions. Regulators will be challenged to justify, in terms of public health gains, the cost and time required to secure CARB as well as U.S. EPA certification of aftermarket upfits. The workshop, accordingly, will cover preliminary concepts of how to simplify the application process while preserving emissions benefits, including how to better align California’s alternative fuel certification procedures with the new federal policies. The primary fuels of interest are liquefied natural gas, compressed natural gas, and propane. READ MORE >

Energy Information Administration Projects Natural Gas Production to Exceed Consumption by 2020
December 24th, 2012 - The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the early release version of its 2013 Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2013), which includes projections for U.S. energy markets through 2040 under reference case assumptions. The AEO2013 projects strong growth in natural gas production, led by continued development of shale resources. Despite growth in natural gas consumption, AEO2013 projects that the United States will become a net exporter of natural gas by the year 2020—two years earlier and with greater volumes of U.S. natural gas exports than was projected in the Annual Energy Outlook 2012. READ MORE >

CPUC Votes to Allow SoCalGas CNG
December 21st, 2012 - Southern California Gas has moved a step closer to installing equipment for compressed natural gas outside its own facilities, as the California Public Utilities Commission voted 4-1 Thursday in favor of a proposed decision to allow the utility to develop a tariff for compressed gas. SoCalGas wants to be able to build facilities to which customers would add dispensing equipment, selling compressed gas according to a new CST – a Compression Services Tariff. The utility would in this way effectively finance infrastructure installation for would-be natural vehicle operators, like municipalities, school districts and private fleets, that otherwise can’t afford it. READ MORE >

Renewable Natural Gas: It's Happening Now for Alt-Fuel Fleets
December 19th, 2012 - The 10 million trucks and buses currently operating on U.S. roads provide essential services to virtually every American community, and they transport goods worth nearly 70% of the GDP. And notably, although these buses and trucks comprise just 4% of all vehicles, they use 23% of all highway fuel - almost entirely diesel. NGT's recent "Renewable Natural Gas: The Solution to a Major Transportation Challenge" report suggests that fossil-based natural gas and renewable natural gas (RNG) can replace major quantities of diesel. For its part, RNG use in a vehicle requires no technology breakthroughs, so it is relatively easy to introduce into the heavy-duty trucking and bus sectors. It can be transported through the same pipelines, stored in the same tanks, dispensed through the same refueling facilities, and used to power the same engines as fossil natural gas. READ MORE >

Cummins Westport ISX12 G Update
December 19th, 2012 - Autocar, Freightliner, Kenworth, Peterbilt and Volvo can expect to receive limited quantities of the 350-horsepower version of the dedicated-natural gas ISX12 G engine Cummins Westport in April, by which time full U.S. EPA and California certifications will be in place. Limited quantities of the 385- and 400-horsepower versions of the new 11.9-liter spark-ignition engine will become available in July. Full-scale production of all variants is to commence in August. READ MORE >

CA Energy Commission Is Funding Renewable Natural Gas R&D Projects
December 18th, 2012 - The California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research program is mobilizing up to $2.45 million to support research and development activity aimed at creating technologies that produce renewable natural gas for transportation applications. The solicitation is looking specifically at projects that "incorporate bench-scale research and development and/or prototype-scale demonstration of advanced technologies," according to the commission. Up to five projects will likely receive grant funds, and these projects will run four years each. Private companies, federal entities (such as the national laboratories) and applicants from the University of California system are all eligible. READ MORE >

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Will Acquire Over 500 NGVs
December 14th, 2012 - The MTS Board of Directors authorized the CEO to purchase up to 350 Gillig 40-foot low-floor CNG buses and up to 165 New Flyer 60-foot low-floor articulated CNG buses through 2017. The total value of the contracts if all options are exercised and future funding is available, is in excess of $343 million, inclusive of sales tax, licenses, fees and delivery. At the end, more than 95 percent of MTS buses will run on compressed natural gas. “This puts us on pace to retire the last of our diesel buses from our urban fleet by the end of our contracts. It allows us to launch with SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) new Bus Rapid Transit Service in 2014. It is also significant to the people of our state as more than half of this contract will be spent with Gillig, which manufactures buses in Hayward, California,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. READ MORE >

CA State Funds Go Toward Propane Autogas Vehicles, NGVs, CNG Refueling
December 13th, 2012 - The California Energy Commission has approved new funding totaling about $2.6 million to support the advancement of alternative and renewable fuels in the transportation sector. The awards, which were made through the state Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, include the following: Environ Strategy Consultants Inc., the City of Monterey Park in Los Angeles County, North Hills-based Galpin Ford, Nationa's Bus Corp. in Inglewood, Big Valley Ford Inc. in Stockton, and Oakland-based West Coast Bus Sales. READ MORE >

Freightliner CNG Cascadia Trials
December 7th, 2012 - Freightliner Trucks has launched a customer demo program for its new compressed natural gas-fueled Freightliner Cascadia 113 day cab. Five tractors will be available in the U.S. and Canada “to provide customers direct experience with Freightliner’s newest alternative fuel product,” the manufacturer says. The Cascadia 113 is powered by the new 11.9-liter, 400-horsepower Cummins Westport ISX12 G dedicated-natural gas engine, with an Agility Fuel System array of CNG cylinders affording 115 DGE/diesel gallon equivalents capacity. The new truck has the Allison 4000HS transmission. “Natural gas products can result in significant fuel cost savings, making it a smart choice for increasing profitability while benefitting the environment,” said Freightliner product strategy director T.J. Reed says in a release. READ MORE >

Outlook: Natural Gas Use to Offset Diesel Growth
December 6th, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Energy projects that the use of natural gas in heavy-duty vehicles will offset growth in diesel consumption during the next few decades, eventually displacing a predicted 700,000 barrels of oil per day by 2040, according to the 2013 edition of the Annual Energy Outlook released this week by the DOE’s Energy Information Administration. The AEO also predicts that the U.S. will become a larger exporter than anticipated in the 2012 AEO, saying that U.S. production will outpace U.S. consumption by 2020, at which point the U.S. will start exporting. READ MORE >

Clean Energy Concludes First Stage of Its America's Natural Gas Highway
December 5th, 2012 - It was achieved with the completion of a filling station in Matthews, Missouri this month, part of its network of liquefied natural gas truck fueling stations to support long-haul, heavy-duty goods movement along major interstate corridors throughout the United States. These facilities are in addition to the ongoing CNG station building planned for the company's traditional markets in transit, refuse, airport/taxi/shuttle and local/regional trucking. Major highway segments now completed include, among others, those linking the Southwest Corridor, Los Angeles to Atlanta, The Texas Triangle, Atlanta to Chicago to Texas, and major corridors in the Midwest and Northeast. READ MORE >

U.S. Natural Gas Fund and CNG Fleet Vehicles: Not Just a Lot of Hot Air
December 5th, 2012 - What do Waste Management, Inc., United Parcel Service, Inc., and AT&T have in common? They all are replacing much of their existing fleet with natural gas powered vehicles (NGVs). In a sign of the rising popularity of natural gas vehicles, these three dissimilar industries with one overwhelming common denominator, the use of gas or diesel trucks in their daily operations, have been replacing their traditionally powered fleets with natural gas powered vehicles for years. READ MORE >

Natural Gas Vehicle Regulations Will Take Center Stage in PA
December 5th, 2012 - In 2004, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopted California Air Resources Board (CARB) vehicle emission standards for heavy-duty trucks (beginning with the 2005 model year), defined as vehicles rated at over 14,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight. Passenger cars and light-duty trucks (in short, vehicles rated below 8,500 lbs. or above 14,000 lbs. GVW) must meet CARB standards. All other vehicles - including converted alternative fuel vehicles - must meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards.In Pennsylvania, CARB standards apply to new vehicles, which are defined as those with less than 7,500 miles on the odometer. Vehicles with more mileage are covered under EPA regulations. Late in 2011, Pennsylvania developed a policy document to encourage more alternative fuel conversions. This was done in response to public interest in natural gas vehicles (NGVs), prompted by particularly low local pricing for natural gas as a result of the Marcellus Shale exploration and extraction. READ MORE >

AMP Americas Announces Trucking Fleet Operating from Renewable Natural Gas
December 5th, 2012 - AMP Americas has commenced operating its trucking fleet on renewable natural gas produced from the first agricultural digester project in the United States to qualify for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). AMP Americas owns two compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations in Indiana and, in partnership with Fair Oaks Farms, manages a fleet of 42 CNG milk-transport trucks (one of the largest in the country). These long-haul trucks now run on renewable CNG made from manure sourced at the dairy in a process called anaerobic digestion. Renewable CNG is the chemical equivalent of fossil-based natural gas and is obtained from biomass, often food or animal waste. The fleet runs in excess of 20.000 miles a day delivering milk throughout the Midwest. READ MORE >
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