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News Archive - March 2013

Shell and Volvo Trucks Team on LNG
March 27th, 2013 - Shell announced a joint cooperation agreement with Volvo Trucks to help develop liquefied natural gas as a fuel option for heavy duty trucks. “Shell believes that natural gas could form a bigger part of the transport energy mix, alongside developments in areas such as greater vehicle efficiency, biofuels, hydrogen and electric mobility,” states Shell release. Shell says it’s cooperating with Volvo on LNG technical, commercial and regulatory developments. “The agreement aims to provide a complete solution to customers to help them convert to LNG as a fuel,” Shell says. The non-exclusive pact focuses primarily on North America and Europe. READ MORE >

ARPA-E Announces $40 Million for Research Projects to Develop Cleaner and Cheaper Transportation Choices for Consumers
March 22nd, 2013 - The Department of Energy today announced that approximately $40 million from its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will be made available for two new programs that will engage our country’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to develop technologies that shift our cars and trucks off oil. One program will develop cost effective and energy efficient manufacturing techniques to process and recycle metals that could help make lighter vehicles. The second program will develop biological technologies that will improve the conversion of natural gas to liquids for transportation fuels, designed to reduce vehicle emissions compared to conventional gasoline engines. READ MORE >

Momentum Building for the Cummins Westport ISX12 G Natural Gas Engine
March 21st, 2013 - Cummins Westport says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has certified the highly anticipated ISX12 G natural gas engine, covering the new product under 2013 EPA regs, as well as coming guidelines governing fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. The engine is already certified by the California Air Resources Board. Also this week, Peterbilt confirmed that the ISX12 G will be available in its trucks, joining fellow PACCAR company Kenworth, which said last year that the 11.9-liter engine would make its way into some of its models. Freightliner is also offering the engine this year. READ MORE >

Honda 4 for the One-Man HOV
March 21st, 2013 - American Honda is spreading the word that it leads the industry with four cars that qualify singe drivers to use California’s time-saving HOV – High Occupancy Vehicle – lanes. They are the Accord Plug-In Hybrid, the Civic Natural Gas , the Fit EV all-electric vehicle and FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell-electric. “With four different Honda vehicles, the most of any automaker, providing single-occupancy access to California’s carpool lanes, we are creating tremendous opportunities for consumers to save time and money and reduce their environmental footprint,” product planning and logistics VP Art St. Cyr says in a release. “Only Honda offers a broad portfolio of alternative-fuel vehicles in various sizes and body styles to meet the diverse needs of California drivers.” READ MORE >

San Joaquin Awarding $3.8 Million: Alt Fuel Projects for Technology Advancement
March 20th, 2013 - California’s San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District – Valley Air – has approved awards totaling more than $3.8 million for a range of alternative fuel and advanced drive vehicle initiatives under its Technology Advancement Program. The technologies range from biomethane to battery electric to hydraulic hybrids. READ MORE >

Natural Gas Vehicles Play Pivotal Role in Obama Energy Plan
March 19th, 2013 - Reducing America’s dependence on imported oil is a primary goal of the energy plan just announced by President Barack Obama, and increasing the use of natural gas vehicles is one of the President’s key strategies. In unveiling the details of his “Blueprint for a Clean and Secure Energy Future,” the President said, “The only way to really break this cycle of spiking gas prices, the only way to break that cycle for good, is to shift our cars entirely—our cars and trucks—off oil.” To help achieve this, the President’s plan “commits to partnering with the private sector to adopt natural gas and other alternative fuels in the Nation’s trucking fleet.” Specifically, the plan calls for “putting in place new incentives for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that run on natural gas or other alternative fuels, providing a credit for 50 percent of the incremental cost of a dedicated alternative-fuel truck for a five-year period; supporting research to ensure the safe and responsible use of natural gas; and funding to support a select number of deployment communities.” READ MORE >

Westport Partners with Clean Energy Fuels; Opens Canadian Market for WiNG CNG
March 19th, 2013 - Natural gas engine and fuel systems company Westport Innovations Inc. made a pair of announcements this week related to both its liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) activities. First, the company is partnering with the largest provider of natural gas refueling stations in the U.S., Clean Energy Fuels Corp., to co-market and bundle the Westport LNG Tank System with long-term fuel contracts with Clean Energy. Qualified fleet customers, especially those whose vehicles use the 8.9-liter Cummins Westport ISL G or the new Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine, will be able to take advantage of attractive pricing for natural gas fuel through Clean Energy, which is building dozens of LNG refueling stations as a part of America's Natural Gas Highway. READ MORE >

The New Truck Stop: Filling Up With Natural Gas for the Long Haul
March 18th, 2013 - All along the millions of miles of highways that crisscross North America, wheels are in motion to remake the truck stop. Signs rise like palm trees from these oases for thirsty big rigs, shouting out $4-a-gallon diesel fuel. But this year will mark the first major deployment of service stations adapted to new energy realities; they'll offer 18-wheelers a place to pull in for a fill-up with natural gas. Thanks largely to the hydraulic fracturing boom in the United States, it would be far cheaper today to run those heavy trucks on natural gas than diesel—and potentially cleaner, too. Those rumbling rigs are the fastest-growing contributors to the nation's greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Widespread use of cleaner-burning natural gas is a step that could address climate change, although the environmental impact is complex and still under study. READ MORE >

FedEx Truck Fleets to Shift to Natural Gas from Diesel
March 12th, 2013 - Truck fleets are likely to make a major shift to natural gas fuels and away from diesel over the next decade, with FedEx Corp. a likely adopter, said Frederick W. Smith, chairman and CEO of the shipping company. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Smith said he expects between 5% and 30% of US long-distance trucking to be fueled by compressed or liquefied natural gas over 10 years, as the cost of the trucks declines and fueling stations become more common. The company is testing four trucks (two using liquefied gas and two using compressed gas) and if those work well the company will look to moving more of its 90.000 motorized vehicles to the fuel, Smith added. READ MORE >

Ryder Speaks About Natural Gas as a Sustainable Solution for Commercial Transportation
March 7th, 2013 - Scott Perry, Vice President of Supply Management with Ryder, spoke with NGVJournal.US about how natural gas has become an attractive alternative to diesel for Ryder’s strategy, especially with increasing concerns over energy security, CO2 emissions and fuel cost instability. In 2011, Ryder became the first outsourced fleet provider to offer heavy NGVs for the leasing and rental industry through a groundbreaking natural gas vehicle project with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California. The partnership with SANBAG and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Clean Cities Coalition included the deployment of 202 NGVs, made available to customers for rent or lease or through Ryder’s dedicated logistics services. As part of this $38.7 million project, the company is also building two natural gas fueling stations and has equipped three maintenance facilities for the indoor servicing of natural gas vehicles in Fontana, Orange, and Rancho Dominguez, California. READ MORE >

Ford Beefs Up Its Alt Fuel-Ready Lines
March 6th, 2013 - Ford roared into the 2013 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis with word that it’s expanding its line of vehicles that are delivered factory-ready for alternative fuels with gaseous-prep engines. Among them are all-new Transit chassis cab and cutaway models, “engineered to tackle an almost unlimited variety of specialized jobs and vocations.” The larger Transit trucks come with 3.7-liter V-6 engines, available with a compressed natural gas/propane gaseous-prep kit allowing Qualified Vehicle Modifiers to install CNG or propane autogas fuel systems while maintaining Ford dealer availability and warranties. Sales of Ford trucks with CNG/LPG-prepped engines have soared more than 350 percent since 2009, Ford said. Businesses are using CNG-fueled trucks to lower their operating costs, “with the payback period for recouping conversion upfit cost as fast as 24 to 36 months of in-use service. READ MORE >

Love's Loves CNG: Eight Stops in Texas
March 4th, 2013 - Love’s Travel Stops is evaluating separate equipment and construction bids for eight compressed natural gas fueling stations to support Class 8 over-the-road trucks in the “Texas Triangle” – highway locations between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The eight new Texas Triangle stations are to be ready by year-end. “This is the first phase of construction in Love’s plan to offer more CNG locations for professional drivers at its travel stops across the country,” the company says. Love’s began offering CNG for light-duty and consumer vehicles at convenience store locations in Oklahoma in 2010. In 2012, the company opened its first fast-fill CNG dispensers for heavy-duty trucks at the Love’s Travel Stop off Interstate 40 in Oklahoma City. READ MORE >

Westport to Take F-450 and -550 Orders: Large Fords Broaden Westport WiNG's Bi-Fuel Truck Line
March 1st, 2013 - Westport LD will begin taking orders on April 1 for its bi-fuel CNG-gasoline conversions of Ford F-450 and F-550 Super Duty Chassis Cab trucks. The firm’s Westport WiNG Power System equipment is installed at WKIC, the Westport Kentucky Integration Center, located near Ford’s manufacturing plant in Louisville for easy ship-through. Plans for the larger Fords were announced late last year following word earlier in 2012 that the light duty vehicle arm of Westport Innovations would offer bi-fuel versions of F-250 and F-350 vehicles. Westport’s Ford F-450 is being shown for the first time at the National Truck Equipment Association’s Work Truck Show on Indianapolis March 6-8. READ MORE >
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