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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: November 30, 2015

  • Toyota Transport Deploys CNG-Powered Car Hauler
  • Republic Services Expands Alt Fuel Fleet with 176 CNG Trucks in California
  • Love’s Travel Stops Opens CNG Station in Albuquerque
  • Hexagon Composites Receives $7.5 Million in New Tank Orders
  • Green Car Journal Names Ford F-150 2016 Green Truck of the Year
  • Agility Fuel Systems Names Kathleen Ligocki as CEO
  • Pittsburgh Coalition Receives Federal Grant to Study Marine Air Quality


Toyota Transport Deploys CNG-Powered Car Hauler

November 23, 2015

Toyota Transport, the automaker’s in-house vehicle transportation trucking company, deployed its first car hauler that runs on CNG. The CNG truck, which is based in Long Beach, California, was commissioned by Toyota and designed and built in a joint collaboration with Peterbilt and Cottrell, the truck and trailer manufacturers.

“We started exploring the CNG option more than three years ago, and it has been worth the wait,” said Kirk Welch, Senior Analyst, Toyota Transport Compliance. “Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and will help Toyota advance our environmental efforts to reduce fleet emissions.”

Initially, the placement of alternate fuel tanks presented a challenge for car haulers using a nine car trailer with an over-the-cab head rack.  However, working with Toyota’s specifications, Peterbilt and Cottrell were able to develop a tractor/trailer combination that accommodated the alternate fuel tanks, without compromising the extra vehicle hauling space of the head rack. The achievement marks the first full car hauler trailer with head rack that Cottrell has manufactured onto a CNG truck.

Toyota Transport’s southern California Vehicle Delivery Operations in Long Beach and Mira Loma have 32 trucks in service, and the group delivers approximately 200,000 vehicles annually. Most of its car hauler trucks average more than 100,000 miles per year. With plans to deploy the truck locally out of Long Beach as a test, the company will evaluate the truck’s performance and efficiency. The CNG truck is expected to drive an average of 7,000 to 8,000 miles per month.

The purchase of the truck advances Toyota’s own environmental endeavors and efforts in its support of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay program, the public-private initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution created by freight transportation in corporate supply chains.


Republic Services Expands Alt Fuel Fleet to 176 CNG Trucks in California

November 24, 2015

Republic Services announced today the addition of 11 CNG solid waste collection trucks to its fleet serving customers in the Gardena, California area. The CNG trucks replace older diesel-powered trucks, and bring the total number of NGVs operated by Republic in Gardena to 176.

“These new vehicles support our efforts to reduce carbon emissions from our fleet vehicles,” said Ron Krall, area president of Republic Services. “It means that almost 200 of our collection vehicles serving the Gardena and surrounding areas are fueled by CNG, which aligns with Republic’s long-term sustainability strategy.”

Republic Services operates a fueling station at its Gardena location to support its expanding CNG fleet, which now accounts for 76 percent of Republic’s overall fleet serving the Gardena community.

Nationwide, Republic Services operates a fleet of more than 2,200 CNG vehicles and 38 natural gas fueling stations. Republic’s CNG fleet helps to save roughly 18 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. Republic has a number of initiatives to reduce overall fuel usage, including its continued commitment to operating CNG powered trucks. Together, these initiatives will help Republic reach its goal, outlined in its 2014 Sustainability Report, of reducing fleet greenhouse gas emissions by three percent by 2018.


Love’s Travel Stops Opens CNG Station in Albuquerque

November 21, 2015

Love’s has opened its newest CNG station for heavy-duty trucks and other motorists in Albuquerque, New Mexico, along I-40. Drivers traveling the 1,000-mile stretch of I-40 between Albuquerque, New Mexico, and West Memphis, Arkansas, now have the option of filling up with CNG at six Love’s Travel Stops on the thoroughfare.

“Love’s now has a total of 16 locations offering Love’s Fast-Fill CNG, and this is our first location with the alternative fuel offering in New Mexico,” said Greg Love, co-CEO of Love’s. “Love’s has operated in Albuquerque proudly for more than 30 years. Our new store will have the same excellent customer service and our newest amenities.”

In addition to Albuquerque, Love’s Fast-Fill CNG locations along I-40 include West Memphis, Arkansas; Webbers Falls, Oklahoma; two locations in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Amarillo, Texas. The existing Love’s Travel Stop in Williams, Arizona, will begin offering fast-fill CNG later this year, expanding Love’s network of CNG locations along I-40 to seven.


Hexagon Lincoln Receives $7.5 Million in New Tank Orders

November 24, 2015

Hexagon Lincoln recently received more than USD 7.5 million in new orders for delivery of its TUFFSHELL CNG fuel tanks. The orders are from North American heavy duty and transit bus customers and signal continuing strength in those markets. In the first quarter of 2016, $5 million in orders are expected to be delivered.

“Recent headlines focused on oil price volatility have overshadowed the fact that natural gas still remains the least expensive option at the pump,” said Chet Dawes, Vice President of CNG Automotive Products. “We’re seeing the market reaffirm its commitment to natural gas vehicles.”

Green Car Journal Names Ford F-150 2016 Green Truck of the Year

November 22, 2015

The Green Car Journal recently named the Ford F-150 its 2016 Green Truck of the Year at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show. The 2016 Ford F-150 includes the highest EPA-estimated highway fuel economy rating of any full-size gasoline pickup on the market, at 26 mpg. The CNG and propane gaseous fuel prep package is available for 5.0-liter V8-equipped F-150, which further helps reduce operating costs and tailpipe CO2 emissions.

“The 2016 Ford F-150 is a great example of the environmental leadership that can, and should, be accomplished in the immensely popular pickup field,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher, Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “Milestone lightweighting through the extensive use of aluminum and high-strength steel, the availability of a powerful and efficient 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, and a segment-exclusive gaseous fuel prep option that enables the F-150 to run on clean-burning compressed natural gas or propane are all important contributions that raise the bar in environmental performance.”

The Green Truck of the Year awards are an important part of Green Car Journal’s mission to showcase environmental progress in the auto industry. Presented by the San Antonio Automobile Dealers Association, the 47th annual San Antonio Auto & Truck Show took place on November 19–22, 2015 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.


Agility Fuel Systems Names Kathleen Ligocki as CEO

November 24, 2015

Agility Fuel Systems, a developer and manufacturer of natural gas fuel systems for heavy duty vehicles, announced the appointment of Kathleen Ligocki as Chief Executive Officer effective December 3, 2015.

“With an impressive background in the automotive industry and entrepreneurial technology firms, as well as prior CEO experience at a variety of companies, we believe that Kathleen is uniquely qualified to lead Agility to the next level,” said Michael Gallagher, Agility’s Chairman of the Board.  “We are delighted to welcome her as CEO, and we would also like to thank Bill Nowicke for leading the company through this important transition period.”

Prior to joining Agility, Ms. Ligocki served as the CEO of Harvest Power, a leading organics management solutions company.  Previously, she was an Operating Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers, collaborating with the firm’s green tech ventures on strategic challenges, scaling operations and commercialization.  Ms. Ligocki has also served as CEO at Tower Automotive, a Fortune 1000 global automotive supplier, Next Autoworks, an auto company with a unique low-cost business model, and GS Motors, a Mexico City-based auto retailer owned by Grupo Salinas, a large Mexican conglomerate.

Ms. Ligocki has also held executive positions at Ford and United Technologies where she led operations in the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Russia.  Ms. Ligocki began her industrial career at General Motors.  She currently serves as a director on the board of Lear Corporation, a Fortune 200 automotive supplier, and formerly has served on numerous public, private and academic boards.  Currently, she is a fiduciary board member at the Indiana University Foundation.

Ms. Ligocki earned a bachelor’s degree with highest distinction in Liberal Studies from Indiana University Kokomo and holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  She also has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Indiana University Kokomo and Central Michigan University.

“The continued innovation in Agility’s natural gas fuel systems and a brand new, vertically-integrated production facility in North Carolina will position the company to continue serving its expanding base of fleet and OEM customers,” said Ms. Ligocki. “I look forward to joining the Agility team as we continue to lead the way in adoption of a cleaner fuel in natural gas across the transportation industry.”

Bill Nowicke, Agility’s Interim CEO, who has led Agility since the departure of Barry Engle at the end of July, will return to his position as Chief Operating Officer and report directly to Ms. Ligocki. During his tenure as Interim CEO, Mr. Nowicke led the company through the opening of the new state-of-the-art production facility in Salisbury, North Carolina.


Pittsburgh Coalition Receives Federal Grant to Study Marine Air Quality

Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities (PRCC) recently announced that its western Pennsylvania coalition, Clean Fuels Clean Rivers (CFCR), received a $730,000 grant from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to conduct a demonstration project to monitor and reduce diesel emissions from marine vessels.

The Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance Program (META) grant awarded to the CFCR coalition is the first-ever awarded by the federal government, specifically targeting the marine community operating on the Nation’s inland rivers.

The coalition will convert a harbor towboat to burn LNG as its fuel source, monitoring the emissions before and after. The project will require developing the technology to support the LNG conversion and the emissions monitoring. The CFCR goal is to research and develop the technology to allow marine operators to use a clean burning alternative to diesel. This in turn allows them to meet new EPA emission requirements and reduce environmental impact to the inland waterways.

The PRCC collaborated with Life Cycle Engineering, Walden Industries, MANE Resources, and Clipper Enterprises to submit the grant proposal to MARAD. The Shearer Group, UGI Energy Services, and West Virginia University will join the demonstration project effort.

An additional benefit of the project is the educational outreach effort that will take place with the marine community, regulatory agencies, first responders, and college and high school programs. The CFCR coalition anticipates the towboat demonstration project will take 24 months. Upon conclusion, the coalition will publish a final report and share it with the marine community.