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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: October 10, 2017

  • NGVAmerica Names FortisBC 2017 Natural Gas Fleet Program Award Recipient
  • NGVAmerica Submits Comments to U.S. EPA, CARB
  • EIA Highlights Role of RNG in Renewable Fuel Standard Program
  • DEP Offers Grants to Support Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Projects in Pennsylvania 
  • Ryder Unveils Upgraded Maintenance Facility in Texas
  • Hexagon Lincoln Received Large Order for TITAN 4 CNG Trailers
  • Volvo Introduces New Trucks Running on Natural Gas


NGVAmerica Names FortisBC 2017 Natural Gas Fleet Program Award Recipient

October 10, 2017

NGVAmerica recently announced FortisBC as its 2017 Natural Gas Fleet Program Award recipient at its Annual Meeting held in Atlanta.

“FortisBC has shown true market leadership and exceptional initiative in growing the use of natural gas in North America’s transportation sector,” said NGVAmerica President Dan Gage.  “FortisBC has accomplished this through a unique blend of customer incentives, marketing and training, maintenance facility upgrades, codes and standards development, fuel station development, and conversions of its own fleet vehicles from gasoline and diesel to clean burning natural gas.”

With over 100 converted natural gas vehicles in its own fleet and with a target of converting 50 percent of its fleet by the end of 2018, FortisBC demonstrates the ethos of “practice what you preach.” This highlights confidence and commitment in the technology FortisBC is promoting to its customers and to the broader alternative fuel marketplace and has enabled the deployment of hundreds of customer’s natural gas vehicles in British Columbia.

“We are proud to be recognized for our commitment to helping address British Columbia’s climate action and air quality goals through the use of natural gas for transportation,” said Sarah Smith, director of natural gas for transportation at FortisBC. “By focusing on internal and external fleets, we have helped meet GHG emission reduction goals, improved air quality in local communities, and provided a cost effective alternative fuel choice to our customers, using a domestic rather than an imported resource.”

In addition to the conversion of its own fleet vehicles, FortisBC exhibits leadership through its support of the Province of British Columbia’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Clean Energy) Regulation. This program has enabled FortisBC to provide financial incentives to customers to help put over 700 natural gas vehicles on BC roads since 2010.

“Natural gas vehicle technology is mature and proven,” added Gage. “It is affordable, and it is commercially-ready right now for heavy-duty vehicle uses, unlike battery and other proposed alternative fuel schemes. So, if we are truly serious about significantly reducing NOx emissions, diesel particulate matter, and GHG emissions in the very near term, it’s critical that we incentivize and support the deployment of NGVs in truck, trash, transit, train, and even marine applications today.”

NGVs offer the best, most immediate and most cost-effective investment in significantly improving public health and countering climate change today since over 50 percent of North America’s smog-precursor emissions and 20 percent of transportation-related GHG emissions come from heavy-duty vehicles.


NGVAmerica Submits Comments to U.S. EPA, CARB

October 10, 2017

On Thursday, NGVAmerica submitted comments in response to the U.S. EPA’s request for information concerning its review of the 2022 – 2025 greenhouse gas standards for light duty vehicles.

The agency is currently revisiting a decision by the Obama Administration under the Mid-term Review.  Shortly before leaving office, the Obama Administration issued a decision to retain the proposed 2022 – 2025 standards. In August, the Trump Administration requested comments on whether the standards should be maintained and specifically requested comments on factors that have changed since the agency adopted the standards in 2012.

NGVAmerica’s comments focused on changes relating to the significant growth in domestic natural gas and the increasing use of renewable natural gas for transportation. These factors point to the potential for natural gas to play a significant role in achieving the objectives of the light duty motor vehicle regulations, i.e., energy conservation, petroleum reductions, reduced emissions, and fuel diversity.  The comments highlighted the advantages of natural gas for powering light trucks and sport-utility vehicles and requested that the agency take steps to increase the regulatory incentives for manufacturers that produce natural gas vehicles. Importantly, natural gas vehicles deliver on the objectives of the light duty regulations without sacrificing the utility that light truck and sport-utility owners have come to expect from this segment of vehicles.

Previous studies, such as the National Petroleum Council’s Future of Fuel, indicate that natural gas vehicles, if mass produced, could prove very economical compared to other options and could capture a significant share of the light duty transportation market in future years. NGVAmerica’s comments included many of the same points raised in comments recently submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is currently collecting information to inform its decision concerning fuel economy standards for 2022 – 2025 light duty vehicles.

On Friday, NGVAmerica also submitted comments in response to proposed changes the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is planning to make to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.  CARB Staff unveiled the changes last month at a workshop. Many of the changes appear to unfairly single out conventional and renewable natural gas for changes while leaving other fuels unchanged.  NGVAmerica’s comments urged CARB to provide additional time for industry to review the proposed changes which are based in part of recent emission model changes, the details of which have not been fully released for review.

Lastly, the U.S. Department of Transportation is reviewing its existing regulations and other agency actions to evaluate their continued necessity, determine whether they are crafted effectively to solve current problems, and evaluate whether they potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources. As part of these reviews, the Department invites the public to provide input on existing rules and other agency actions that are good candidates for repeal, replacement, suspension, or modification. The Department may also hold a public meeting to discuss and consider comments from members of the public.  Comments should be received on or before November 1, 2017.  The full notice can be found here.


EIA Highlights Role of RNG in Renewable Fuel Standard Program

October 10, 2017

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently highlighted the growth and important role that renewable natural gas (RNG) is playing in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program. The October 5 Today in Energy includes several charts pointing to the substantial growth in renewable natural gas up from 33 million ethanol gallons in 2014 to 189 million ethanol gallons in 2016. In 2016, RNG accounted for 82 percent of cellulosic biofuel produced under the RFS Program.

The article indicates that as of June 30, 2017 there are approximately 50 RNG producing facilities registered with EPA. The EPA is currently in the process of finalizing the 2018 target for cellulosic biofuel and has estimated that the RNG industry will supply 221 million ethanol gallons of RNG in 2018. Industry advocates for RNG has argued that the industry will supply much more RNG is 2018 due to new projects and production coming online.

NGVAmerica recently joined with the RNG Coalition and others to urge the agency to recognize the significant new production that is coming online when setting the 2018 level.  EPA is expected to finalize the renewable fuel targets for 2018 by late November.


DEP Offers Grants to Support Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Projects in Pennsylvania 

October 6, 2017

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the availability of approximately $1 million in grants to support the installation of publicly accessible alternative fuel infrastructure projects in designated major transportation corridors.

Eligible projects include CNG refueling stations and other alternative fuel stations. All projects must be fully accessible to the public and be located within the designated alternative fuel corridors of I-76, I-276, I-476, I-70, I-95, and I-80.

The funding is made possible through the Commonwealth’s FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act. This special solicitation under the AFIG (Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants) Program is designed to provide long-term certainty for surface transportation infrastructure planning and investments.

“As the use of alternate fuels continues to increase, we must keep up with the demand for alternative fuel infrastructure along Pennsylvania’s high volume transit corridors,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Projects financed through these grants will offer additional flexibility and opportunities to those already committed to the use of alternative fuels, and will make it more convenient for new users to take advantage of rapidly expanding alternative fuel technology.”

Individual project awards will provide up to a 50 percent reimbursement and be capped at $500,000. Proposed projects must be standalone and cannot rely on receiving funding from multiple applications. Application requirements and restrictions can be found on the AFIG website.


Ryder Unveils Upgraded Maintenance Facility in Texas

October 05, 2017

Ryder System recently unveiled its upgraded maintenance facility in Grapevine, Texas. Ryder engineered the facility with expanded capabilities to provide maintenance to a broad range of advanced fuel vehicles, including natural gas vehicles. The upgraded facility features four new drive-through work bays that are NGV compliant, a new automated drive-through truck wash bay, and additional parking for commercial vehicles.

“Ryder is continuing to see growth and expansion across North America, as more businesses understand the value of outsourcing their fleet management services to Ryder,” said Ryder President of Global Fleet Management Solutions, Dennis Cooke. “We are happy to provide our customers in the Grapevine area with state-of-the-art diesel and advanced fuel vehicle maintenance services, expert technicians, and a wide selection of the latest commercial rental vehicles.”


Hexagon Lincoln Received Large Order for TITAN 4 CNG Trailers

October 6, 2017

Hexagon Lincoln has received a follow-on purchase order for TITAN 4 trailers from Certarus Ltd. with a total value of $11 million. The Mobile Pipeline modules will serve the industrial sector in North America.

Earlier this year, Hexagon and Certarus, a leading provider of fully integrated CNG delivery solutions, entered into a long-term agreement. With this order Certarus is expanding its already large TITAN fleet, which serves the oil and gas, industrial and commercial sectors.

“Certarus is the North American market leader for large scale integrated compressed natural gas solutions and Hexagon’s TITAN 4 is the core of our fleet,” said Curtis Philippon, President & CEO of Certarus Ltd.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2017 and continue through the first quarter of 2018.


Volvo Introduces New Trucks Running on Natural Gas

October 4, 2017

Volvo Trucks has introduced Euro 6-compliant heavy duty trucks in Europe that run on clean-burning LNG or renewable LNG. Volvo says the trucks can cut CO2 emissions by 20 to 100 percent. With a firm focus on new, energy-efficient technology for gas-powered vehicles, Volvo Trucks makes it possible to significantly reduce the climate impact of heavy regional and long-haul transport operations.

“We regard LNG as a long-term first choice alternative to diesel, both for regional and long-haul truck operations where fuel efficiency, payload and productivity are crucial,” said Lars Mårtensson, Director Environment and Innovation at Volvo Trucks. “Our vision is that trucks from Volvo will eventually have zero emissions, although the way of achieving that is not by one single solution but through several solutions in parallel. LNG is one of them.”

Compared with current gas-powered trucks available on the market, Volvo Trucks’ new vehicles use 15 to 25 percent less fuel, and LNG gives the trucks the greatest possible operating range.

Volvo Trucks is now working together with gas suppliers and customers to develop the expansion of LNG infrastructure in Europe. This development is also being supported politically in many countries and by the EU. A strategy for expanding LNG infrastructure is also included in the European Commission and member states’ action packages for securing Europe’s long-term energy supply.