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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: June 29, 2015

  • Educational Breakout Sessions Established for 2015 North American NGV Conference & Expo
  • FTA Proposes Revisions to Safety Requirements for Buses and Vans
  • North American Repower to Deliver First PHEV-RNG Armored Truck
  • Waste Management Launches Waterloo CNG Truck Fleet
  • GFS Corp Unveils Natural Gas System for Caterpillar 793D Truck
  • APG Earns CARB Certifications for Turbocharged Dual Fuel System
  • Divergent Microfactories Introduces Innovative Natural Gas Vehicle
  • Innovative LNG Tank Receives EU Grant for Further Development
  • U.S. Gain Announces Agreement with Unilever for Sustainability Efforts


Educational Breakout Sessions Established for 2015 North American NGV Conference & Expo

June 29, 2015

Last week, NGVAmerica established the educational breakout sessions for the upcoming 2015 North American NGV Conference & Expo slated for September 15–17 in Denver, Colorado. The breakout sessions are an important part of the conference that offer attendees distinct educational tracts across a broad array of interests. The breakout sessions will be held in three periods on Wednesday, September 16.

Breakout Period I:

  • The Global Energy Outlook and the North American NGV Industry
  • LNG Supply and Station Operation
  • Improving Performance: Advances in Pumps, Fill, and Range
  • Successful LDC Initiatives to Build a Robust NGV Market
  • Federal NGV Policy and Advocacy: Promoting NGVs and Removing Market Barriers

Breakout Period II:

  • GHGs and Climate Change: NGVs and the Road Toward a Sustainable Future
  • Building America’s CNG Fueling Infrastructure
  • Retrofit Options for Cost-Effective Entry into the NGV Market
  • ALT Fuels Colorado Program: Putting Federal Funding to Work

Breakout Period III:

  • State NGV Policy and Advocacy: Where the Real Action Is!
  • Leasing Options: Opening the Door to NGVs and Advancing the NGV Industry
  • What’s New in OEM Heavy-Duty Engine and Truck Platforms
  • Facility Modifications for the Safe Accommodation of NGVs

The breakout sessions will be followed up with a networking reception at the Pinnacle Club, Grand Hyatt Hotel, sponsored by Hexagon Lincoln, which will give attendees the opportunity to share lessons learned and explore new opportunities.

For more information, visit the program-at-a-glance page or contact Tom Sheehan at tsheehan@www.ngvamerica.org or 207.925.1136.


FTA Proposes Revisions to Safety Requirements for Buses and Vans

June 29, 2015

This past week, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that it will revamp the safety regulations and testing requirements for buses and modified vans.  In a cost-saving effort, FTA intends to do away with the on-road fuel economy test and instead will rely on testing done on chassis dynamometers.  Excerpts from the FTA notice are included below:

The FTA intends to “establish a new pass/fail standard and new aggregated scoring system for buses and modified vans (hereafter referred to as “bus” or “buses”) that are subject to FTA’s bus testing program, as mandated by Section 20014 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The proposed pass/fail standard and scoring system address the following categories as required by MAP-21: structural integrity, safety, maintainability, reliability, fuel economy, emissions, noise, and performance. Once FTA issues a rule in final form, recipients will be prohibited from using FTA financial assistance to procure new buses that have not passed the test. FTA is also seeking comment on establishing testing requirements and a scoring system for remanufactured vehicles sold by third-party vendors and procured using FTA funding, which FTA plans to address in a subsequent rulemaking action. Finally, FTA is proposing to apply Buy America U.S. content requirements to buses submitted for testing.”

Comments on the notice are due August 24, 2015.  The full notice is available here.  For more information, contact Jeff Clarke at 202.824.7364 or jclarke@www.ngvamerica.org.


North American Repower to Deliver First PHEV-RNG Armored Truck

June 25, 2015

North American Repower, a natural gas engine management and conversion company based in California, and Efficient Drivetrains, a developer of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) solutions, will convert a fleet of six 26,000 pound, Class-5 medium-duty armored vehicles operated by Sectran Security into PHEV vehicles that run on electricity and renewable natural gas (RNG). The collaboration supports the push in California toward a zero emissions environment.

Today, the Sectran Security trucks make frequent stops as part of their highly congested urban routes. At each stop, the engines are kept idling for security purposes, but now risk violating California’s strict diesel idling regulations, which prohibit idling the engine for more than five minutes. With the modernized trucks, Sectran can completely eliminate engine idling by operating in all-electric mode during stop-and-go operations on urban routes and in hybrid-mode during highway operations.

The demonstration trucks will enable Sectran to reduce annual diesel consumption by 31,000+ gallons, significantly reduce annual fuel costs, and reduce emissions by 99.9 percent, according to the companies.

The collaboration gained additional support from the California Energy Commission, which approved a $3 million grant award from its Energy Research and Development Division, leveraging an additional $3 million in private investment and creating 5 advanced vehicle jobs.


APG Earns CARB Certifications for Turbocharged Dual Fuel System

June 25, 2015

American Power Group (APG) has achieved its first California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO) Certifications for its Turbocharged Natural Ga Dual Fuel System. APG received certifications for seventeen specific Volvo/Mack D-13/MP8 engine models within the 2010–2012 model years for the 12.8L heavy-duty diesel engine family. These CARB certifications are in addition to the company’s 474 EPA conversion approvals received on specific CAT, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Daimler, Mack and Volvo engine families for engine model years ranging from 1991–2012.

“These initial certifications took almost a year to accomplish but with an approved testing template in place, we believe we can accelerate the preparation and submission of subsequent vehicle family submissions,” said Lyle Jensen, APG’s CEO.

Dual fuel conversions offer a very compelling economic as well as environmental argument by displacing between 8,000 and 12,000 gallons of diesel per vehicle per year with natural gas.


Waste Management Launches Waterloo CNG Truck Fleet

June 25, 2015

Waste Management (WM) celebrated the launch of a new fleet of CNG fueled trucks with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the company’s facility on Conrad Place in Waterloo, Ontario. The initiative represents an investment of more than $13 million in the community.

“These new vehicles support our overall efforts of reducing carbon emissions from our heavy duty fleet vehicles,” said Graham Wathen, District Manager – Waterloo for Waste Management. “It means that 28 vehicles that service the Region of Waterloo, Guelph and surrounding areas are CNG fueled, in line with our long-term sustainability strategy.”

With the largest heavy-duty truck fleet in North America, the company now has nearly 4,100 of its vehicles running on natural gas. In Ontario, WM has 79 CNG-powered vehicles and is expecting to grow that to 111 later this year.

WM operates 73 CNG fueling stations in North America, two of which are in Ontario. As part of the company’s continuing commitment to natural gas vehicles, over 90 percent of its new truck purchases each year will be natural gas vehicles.


GFS Corp Releases Natural Gas System for Caterpillar 793D Truck

June 24, 2015

GFS’s new system incorporates all of the same benefits and features of the previous systems that allow mine operators the option of using more sustainable and less expensive LNG as a substitute for diesel fuel in their haul trucks. The first of these systems has been installed at a coal mine in the Powder River Basin (Montana/Wyoming).

“Now that our EVO-MT Systems are a proven technology, the next natural step is to roll out additional versions of the system designed for other haul truck makes and models,” said Jason Green, GFS Corp’s President and Chief Technology Officer.”

The company is currently taking orders for its EVO-MT Systems designed for use on Komatsu 830 AC or DC, Komatsu 930E’s as well as Caterpillar 777 B, C and 793 B,C and D models.


Divergent Microfactories Introduces Innovative Natural Gas Vehicle

June 24, 2015

Divergent Microfactories unveiled a new approach to auto manufacturing that incorporates 3D printing to reduce the pollution, materials and capital costs associated with building automobiles.

The centerpiece of the Divergent Microfactories announcement is Blade, the world’s first 3D-printed supercar. Designed and built using Divergent Microfactories’ technology, the company touts the prototype is one of the greenest and most powerful cars in the world. Equipped with a 700-horsepower bi-fuel engine that can use either CNG or gasoline, Blade goes from 0-60 in about two seconds and weighs around 1,400 pounds. Divergent Microfactories plans to sell a limited number of high-performance vehicles that will be manufactured in its own microfactory.

“Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars. The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly,” said Kevin Czinger, founder & CEO, Divergent Microfactories. “We’ve found a way to make automobiles that holds the promise of radically reducing the resource use and pollution generated by manufacturing.”

Divergent Microfactories has published a white paper that shows that a natural gas vehicle manufactured using its new manufacturing process is three times more environmentally friendly than a traditionally manufactured electric vehicle.

Divergent Microfactories’ technology centers around its proprietary solution called a Node—a 3D-printed aluminum joint that connects pieces of carbon fiber tubing to make up the car’s chassis. The Node solves the problem of time and space by cutting down on the actual amount of 3D printing required to build the chassis and can be assembled in just minutes. In addition to dramatically reducing materials and energy use, the weight of the Node-enabled chassis is up to 90 percent lighter than traditional cars, despite being much stronger and more durable. This results in better fuel economy and less wear on roads.

Divergent Microfactories announced plans to put the platform in the hands of small entrepreneurial teams around the world, allowing them to set up their own microfactories and build their own cars. These microfactories will make innovation affordable while reducing the health and environmental impacts of traditional manufacturing.

For more information about Divergent Microfactories, visit their website at www.divergentmicrofactories.com. Their white paper titled Dematerialization and Democratization in Auto Manufacturing is available here.


Innovative LNG Tank Receives EU Grant for Further Development

Cryoshelter, an Austrian-based LNG tank manufacturer, has received a European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program grant for the company to complete the required testing for full certification and commercialization of its innovative LNG tank.  The grant total is for €1.7 million (~$1.9 million).

Cryoshelter has developed an LNG tank for heavy-duty trucks that, due to its unique modular design, is available in over 1,000 sizes. This allows customers to purchase LNG tanks that fit on available frame-rail space without having to make custom modifications or design changes to the vehicle. The second generation tank is being developed with a focus to lower the tank-related costs of ownership.

The company says the tank will be capable of providing 30 percent more fuel capacity (and 30 percent greater vehicle range) and reduced maintenance costs due to the stability of the insulation vacuum. The company will offer extended hold time options for special fleet applications.

For more information, visit Cryoshelter’s website.


U.S. Gain Announces Agreement with Unilever for Sustainability Efforts

June 10, 2015

U.S. Gain has partnered with Unilever to build a GAIN Clean Fueling CNG fueling station in Edwardsville, Illinois, just east of the St. Louis, Missouri metro area. The station will be the largest GAIN Clean Fuel station U.S. Gain has built to date. The agreement calls for Unilever to purchase 800,000 gallons of GAIN Clean Fuel CNG per year.

The Edwardsville station contributes to Unilever’s commitment to reduce its impact on the environment and improve its sustainability efforts. “We’ve made significant investments to reduce our costs while lowering our environmental footprint by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, water use, and waste.” said Camille Z. Chammas, VP Procurement at Unilever. “The use of GAIN Clean Fuel is important part of this program.”

Unilever’s decision to incorporate CNG into its logistics network was led by recommendations from Breakthrough Fuel, a supply chain management and transportation advisory firm.

With the addition of the St. Louis area location, U.S. Gain continues to work towards its goal of having more than 100 GAIN Clean Fuel stations in operation through North America within the next two years. The Edwardsville location will open in June 2015 and will be available for use by other companies and the general public.