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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: November 16, 2015

  • Blue Bird Announces CNG-Powered Type C School Bus for 2016
  • American Gas Magazine Highlights Natural Gas Vehicle Technology
  • Alkane Truck Company to Assemble Class 7 CNG Trucks in North Carolina
  • Progressive Waste Solutions Continues to Lower GHG Emissions with CNG Fleet
  • Researchers at Berkeley Lab Develop New ANG Technology
  • Ryder to Fuel Fleets with 100 Percent Renewable Natural Gas in California
  • GAIN Clean Fuel Celebrates Opening of Public CNG Station in Quebec
  • Washington Gas and Trillium CNG Launch Public CNG Station in Maryland
  • Sparq to Hold Grand Opening for CNG Station in Colorado
  • Worthington Acquires Trilogy’s CNG Fuel System Technology
  • Sweden Taxi Fleet to Add 400 Bi-Fuel Volvo Cars


Blue Bird Announces CNG-Powered Type C School Bus for 2016

November 10, 2015

Blue Bird, a leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, announced its latest innovations at the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s (NAPT) Annual Summit in Richmond, Virginia, including a Type C school bus powered by natural gas.

Blue Bird’s new CNG-powered Type C Vision school buses will use its exclusive and established partnership with Ford and ROUSH CleanTech, deploying Ford’s 6.8L V10 engine and 6R140 transmission with ROUSH CleanTech’s fuel system. Blue Bird says the Vision CNG will reduce fuel and maintenance costs while meeting stringent emissions standards. Blue Bird will begin production of its first Type C Vision bus fueled by CNG in 2016.

With the same engine and transmission architecture covering gasoline, propane and now CNG-powered school buses, Blue Bird’s customers and technicians are assured of simpler and easier maintenance and service. The new Type C CNG-powered model joins the Type D CNG bus currently offered by Blue Bird.

“Our customers want and value reliable, affordable and safe bus options that reduce their operating costs,” said Blue Bird Chief Operating Officer John Kwapis. “Our innovative Blue Bird Vision CNG, Blue Bird Vision ISV and ISB Diesels, and Eaton Procision Transmission will provide a strong return on investment and more choices for our customers.”


American Gas Magazine Highlights Natural Gas Vehicle Technology

November 16, 2015

On November 4, American Gas Magazine, published by the American Gas Association, featured an article “The Technology Factor” that highlighted a number of new natural gas vehicle technologies, including new engine, storage, and refueling technologies. The article concludes that the adoption of NGVs looks bright due to the inherent economic and environmental benefits of NGVs, especially for small business, fleets, and freight carriers.  NGVAmerica President Matthew Godlewski provided insight and numerous quotes for the article. To view the full article, visit the American Gas website.


Alkane Truck Company to Assemble Class 7 CNG Trucks in North Carolina

November 13, 2015

Alkane Truck Company, based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, will begin assembly operations in early 2016 for their Class 7 Cab-Over truck powered by CNG. The announcement comes after Alkane completed compliance to the U.S. Department of Transportation standards and regulations.

All the truck components are out-sourced to existing American manufacturers and assembled per order in their Summerville, South Carolina facility. The Alkane distribution program uses established fleet operators and heavy-duty truck dealerships to sell and service the trucks. Over 130 dealership locations across North America have signed an MOU for the program and Alkane plans to add an additional 200 dealerships. The assembly facility will employ more than 300 automotive technicians once it reaches full capacity.

Class 7 trucks are primarily used for inter-city operations due to their tight turning radius and maneuverability. They are used for various applications such as box, propane, beverage, and other delivery truck applications.

The Alkane Class 7 Cab-Over truck comes equipped with a Power Solutions International (PSI) 8.8L big block engine with a durability-tested Bi-Phase Technologies CNG or propane fuel system and is complemented by the Allison 2500 series heavy duty automatic transmission. Alkane Truck Company has additional automotive products in its development pipeline including a Class 8 CNG or LNG long haul truck.


Progressive Waste Solutions Continues to Lower GHG Emissions with CNG Fleet

November 11, 2015

Progressive Waste Solutions announced it has received its highest score (96 out of 100) in 10 years of participating in the CDP Report (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). The CDP provides climate change data to the global marketplace and is the world’s only global environmental disclosure system which tracks how the world’s largest listed companies are acting in response to a changing climate. The CDP’s climate change program is designed to facilitate the management of greenhouse gas emissions and identify the risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

“We are very proud of our work in reducing our carbon footprint which underscores the progressive approach we take towards creating a more sustainable future for our customers, employees and the communities we serve,” said Joseph Quarin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Progressive Waste Solutions. “This is an important measure to evaluate our progress towards lowering our greenhouse gas emissions which have been primarily focused on two areas—landfill gas management and the conversion of our collection fleet to natural gas.”

Progressive Waste Solutions launched a corporate initiative in 2013 to replace its diesel-powered collection fleet with vehicles using natural gas. The Company now has the largest fleet of CNG-powered collection vehicles in operation in Canada with CNG fleets in Surrey and Coquitlam, British Columbia; Simcoe County, Ontario; and Montreal, Quebec. By the end of 2015, Progressive Waste will add another 63 CNG vehicles to service the Region of Peel starting in January 2016.


Researchers at Berkeley Lab Develop New ANG Technology

November 14, 2015

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a variety of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs)—sponge-like 3D crystals with a large internal surface area—that feature flexible gas-adsorbing pores. This flexibility gives these MOFs a high capacity for storing methane, which in turn has the potential to help make the driving range of an adsorbed-natural-gas (ANG) car comparable to that of a typical gasoline-powered car.

Jeffrey Long, a chemist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and the University of California Berkeley, is the corresponding author of a Nature paper that describes the work entitled, “Methane storage in flexible metal–organic frameworks with intrinsic thermal management.” The lead author is Jarad Mason, a member of Long’s research group at the time of this study and now at Northwestern University.

The key to the success of the MOFs developed by Long, Mason and their colleagues is a “stepped” adsorption and desorption of methane gas. “Most porous materials that would be used as adsorbents exhibit classical Langmuir-type isotherm adsorption, where the amount of methane adsorbed increases continuously but with a decreasing slope as the pressure is raised so that, upon discharging the methane down to the minimum delivery pressure, much of it remains in the tank,” Long says. “With our flexible MOFs, the adsorption process is stepped because the gas must force its way into the MOF crystal structure, opening and expanding the pores.” This means the amount of methane that can be delivered to the engine, i.e., the usable capacity, is higher than for traditional, non-flexible adsorbents.”

In addition, Long says, the step in the adsorption isotherm is associated with a structural phase change in the MOF crystal that reduces the amount of heat released upon filling the tank, as well as the amount of cooling that takes place when methane is delivered to accelerate the vehicle.

This research was supported by the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). The X-ray characterizations were carried out at synchrotron light sources that included theAdvanced Light Source and the Advanced Photon Source, both DOE Office of Science User Facilities.


Ryder to Fuel Fleets with 100 Percent Renewable Natural Gas in California

November 12, 2015

Ryder and Clean Energy announced an agreement for Ryder to switch the fuel at their stations in Orange and Fontana, California, to Clean Energy’s Redeem renewable natural gas (RNG). The fuel at the two stations will be available in both CNG and LNG to individual and public fleet vehicles. As part of the fuel agreement, Clean Energy also will be providing fuel station maintenance services at Ryder’s natural gas fueling stations in Fontana and Orange, California.

“Our decision to use 100% Renewable Natural Gas is based upon our ongoing commitment to ensuring we are delivering solutions that help our customers reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Scott Perry, Vice President of Supply Management and Global Fuel Products, Ryder. Clean Energy says by making the switch to Redeem, Ryder is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 6,300 metric tons per year using current fuel volumes.

Redeem fuel is procured from over 15 biomethane production facilities, including two owned and operated by Clean Energy. Clean Energy is on track to deliver 40 million gallons of Redeem in 2015.


GAIN Clean Fuel Celebrates Opening of Public CNG Station in Quebec

November 13, 2015

Representatives from C.A.T., U.S. Venture Gain Fuel Canada, and Gaz Métro, along with local and regional dignitaries, celebrated the grand opening of the first GAIN Clean Fuel public CNG station in Quebec, Canada.  The GAIN station will provide C.A.T.’s growing fleet of CNG trucks with alternative fuel. Nearly a third of C.A.T.’s fleet of 350 tractors operates on CNG.

“The fight against climate change pushes us to innovate and rethink the way things were done in various sectors, including the transportation sector which emits close to 45% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec,” said Mr. Robert Poëti, Quebec Minister of Transport.

This is the second of five GAIN Clean Fuel station locations to open in partnership with C.A.T. The first station opened in Mississauga, Ontario, on October 26, 2015. The other three station locations include Laredo, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Coteau-du-Lac location, like all other GAIN Clean Fuel stations, will provide easy‑access, fast-fill capabilities and will be open for use by other fleets and the general public.


Washington Gas and Trillium CNG Launch Public CNG Station in Maryland

November 10, 2015

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the second of three local area public CNG stations by Washington Gas Light (Washington Gas). The new station is located in Forestville, Maryland, and will be operated and maintained by Trillium CNG. Another CNG station, also a partnership between Washington Gas and Trillium CNG, recently opened in Frederick, Md., and a third station is planned for the District of Columbia.

“We are committed to empower communities to make smart energy choices with environmental benefits—the Forestville compressed natural gas station is a key step in expanding the availability of clean and efficient CNG,” said Lou Hutchinson, Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer of WGL Holdings (WGL), the parent company of Washington Gas.

“The advantages of CNG reinforce Maryland’s policies to lower energy bills, create jobs, address environmental and climate impacts, and promote energy independence,” said Christopher Rice, Transportation Program Manager and Clean Cities Coordinator, Maryland Energy Administration.

The Forestville CNG station will accept all major credit and fuel cards and will be open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Sparq to Hold Grand Opening for CNG Station in Colorado

November 16, 2015

On Tuesday, Sparq will formally celebrate the grand opening of a CNG fueling station at a Shell station in Trinidad, Colorado.  The grand opening will include a site tour and presentations from the leaders that made CNG in Trinidad possible. Stakeholders from the Colorado Energy Office, Duran Oil Company, Las Animas County, City of Trinidad, and others will be present at the opening.


Worthington Acquires Trilogy’s CNG Fuel System Technology

October 29, 2015

Worthington Industries announced that its Pressure Cylinders segment has acquired certain assets of Trilogy Engineered Systems, a provider of fuel systems for heavy duty trucks. Trilogy’s extended-range hybrid back of cab models and vocational rail mount models complement Worthington’s current top of body models and enable Worthington to provide a more complete fuel system portfolio for medium and heavy duty truck applications.

“Trilogy’s technology and fuel system models complement our existing CNG fuel systems offering,” said Andrew Billman, president of the Worthington Industries Pressure Cylinders business. “This acquisition accelerates the opportunity for growth in our alternative fuels business and supports our commitment to provide reliable high quality alternative fuel tanks and systems.”

Worthington says it is also working with Palmer Trucks, an established dealer network, to continue developing CNG technology that improves fuel economy and ultimately fleet profitability.  Trilogy’s fuel systems assembly assets will be integrated into Worthington’s operations in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Sweden Taxi Fleet to Add 400 Bi-Fuel Volvo Cars

November 9, 2015

Westport Innovations with Volvo Car Sverige and Upplands Motor, announced that Sweden-based Fågelviksgruppen (FVG) has signed an agreement covering the purchase of 400 Volvo V70 Bi-Fuel taxis with Westport technology and fuel systems including options to purchase up to 240 more. Orders for the first 200 vehicles have been received for delivery beginning this year and completion planned for the end of February 2016. Westport expects the balance to be delivered by the third quarter 2016.

“FVG is committed to reduce its environmental footprint,” said Ole Oftedal, CEO of FVG. “We have evaluated several different environmentally friendly cars and found that Volvo Bi-Fuel is a very attractive and a right choice as a taxi vehicle.”

FVG operates 6,000 taxis in fleets such as TaxiKurir, Taxi 020, Taxi Skåne, and TaxisNorge. Currently, older bi-fuel Volvo cars are used by fleets in the Stockholm area, but the new taxis will be deployed throughout the country.