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Monthly Archives: January 2014

AFV Odyssey Day Is Set for October 17

January 31, 2014 in Alternative Fuels, Conference/Meeting, Education, EVs, Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

PERC Is Supporting 2014 National Event on October 17,
Alt Fuels Training Consortium Seeks Additional Sponsors

West Virginia University’s National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium has lined up the Propane Education & Research Council as a primary sponsor for 2014 and has set October 17 for the next National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Odyssey Day.

AeroVironment Unveils TurboCord

January 30, 2014 in EVs, Infrastructure by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Said to Be Word’s First to Handle Both 120 and 240 Volts

AeroVironment has unveiled its new charger for electric vehicles, stating that the TurboCord cordset is the world’s first dual-voltage unit – it can handle both 120 and 240 volts – and “delivers unmatched charging versatility.”

Obama Backs More Natural Gas Vehicles

January 30, 2014 in NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Wants Congress to Back a Better Infrastructure

The words were few but carried some weight, coming as they did from the president of the United States. Mr. Obama, in this week’s State of the Union address, clearly backed the increased use of natural gas as a transportation fuel.

Telogis Releases Fleet 11 Upgrade

January 30, 2014 in New Products, Technology by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Cloud-Based Software Can Help Track Alt Fuels Performance

Southern California’s Telogis has introduced “Fleet 11” as the latest version of cloud-based software product that connects vehicles in the field with management in the office. “Fleet 11 features mobile application enhancements and new maps that are optimized for mobile devices, allowing supervisors and operations leads to easily visualize vehicles, assets and workers,” the company says.

Winter 2014 Natural Gas Pricing

January 29, 2014 in CNG, LNG by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Current Spot Price Spikes Not Likely to Affect Vehicle Fuels

Spiking prices for natural gas on the spot market are unlikely to have much effect on the cost of compressed natural gas for vehicles, says Patrick Couch, project director at Fleets & Fuels publisher GNA – Gladstein, Neandross & Associates.

Click Here for Companion Item on Propane Pricing


Winter 2014 Propane Price Crisis

January 29, 2014 in Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

It’s a Short-Term Weather-Related Phenomenon, Say Proponents,
More Autogas Would Boost Infrastructure, Reduce Seasonal Spikes

Abnormally high propane prices are the result of serious, but short-term influences and are likely to abate soon, say proponents of the vehicle fuel they market as autogas. And, they say, more use of propane autogas would improve the situation: vehicles run year-round, and would spur investment in the infrastructure that would help prevent winter price spikes like this one.

Click Here for Companion Item on Natural Gas Pricing

ARFVT Money Meet Is Set for Irvine

January 29, 2014 in Conference/Meeting, money available by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

February 10 Gathering to Discuss Draft Investment Plan

The California Energy Commission will host a meeting on ARFVT, the Alternative Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology program, on February 10.

CECThe meeting at the Engineering Laboratory Facility (Building 323) at the University of California, in Irvine, Calif., will cover a revised staff draft of the 2014-2015 Investment Plan Update.

California’s AB118 statute directs the investment of approximately $100 million per year into clean and advanced fuel and vehicle technologies, and infrastructure development.

CEC has provided to date more than $420 million in program funding toward more than 250 projects.

Past CEC allocations and proposals for the next round

Past CEC allocations and proposals for the next round

For the latest installment, CEC is proposing funding “for a spectrum of project types.”

Among the standout items for fiscal 2014-2015 are $20 million for biofuel production and supply and for hydrogen fueling infrastructure, $15 million each for electric charging infrastructure and medium and heavy duty advanced technology demos, and $9 million for natural gas vehicle incentives.


CEC, Randy Roesser, 916-654-4628; [email protected]

CEC, Charles Smith, 916-654-4770; [email protected] [email protected];



Source: CEC with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

PERC Straight Talk: Mesa Public Schools

January 28, 2014 in Education, PERC Straight Talk, Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Second in Series of Videos Focuses on Mesa Public Schools in Arizona

Propane has helped make it easier to buy and maintain school buses, says Ron Latko, director of transportation and fleet management for the Mesa Public Schools in Mesa, Ariz. He makes the case for propane autogas in the second of a series of “Straight Talk” videos, freely accessible on the web, prepared by the Propane Education & Research Council extolling the use of propane autogas for fleet vehicles of different types.

This is the second of the PERC Straight Talk
videos being debuted weekly by Fleets & Fuels


Second Texas CNG Outlet by Questar

January 28, 2014 in CNG, Infrastructure by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Central Freight Lines Will Use Public-Access San Antonio Station

Utah’s Questar Fueling has reiterated plans to build a compressed natural gas fueling facility in San Antonio, its second in Texas. The public-access station, expected to open this summer, will support as many as 60 Class-8 natural gas-powered trucks operated by Central Freight Lines.

CNG Kenworth T800s for Valley Proteins

January 28, 2014 in CNG, Fleet Order, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

PacLease Providing NGVs to Carolina’s Valley Proteins,
Which Collects Waste Oils to Make Feedstock for Biodiesel

PacLease is providing ten compressed natural gas-fueled Kenworth T800 tractors for Valley Proteins in Gastonia, N.C. – which numbers among its products ingredients for making biodiesel.

36 Propane Blue Birds for Forest Grove

January 28, 2014 in Fleet Order, Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

School District Will Reportedly Save Some $400,000 over Ten Years

The board of Oregon’s Forest Grove School District west of Portland has approved the purchase of 36 propane-fueled school buses, which according to a local report will save a projected $400,000 over ten years of operation.

Boeing Etihad Jet Fuel from Halophytes

January 28, 2014 in Aviation, Biofuels by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Boeing & Partners in the UAE Seek to Harvest Biofuel from Desert Plants

Boeing and research partners in the United Arab Emirates report breakthroughs in sustainable aviation biofuel development, “finding that desert plants fed by seawater will produce biofuel more efficiently than other well-known feedstocks.”

Penske Has 200 CNG Trucks on Offer

January 28, 2014 in CNG, Fleet Order, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

A Mixed Fleet of Freightliner M2 and Cascadia Models

Penske Truck Leasing now has some 200 compressed natural gas trucks on offer for rental or longer term lease throughout all five of its U.S. regions. The vehicles are Cummins Westport-powered Freightliners: a mix of M2s with 8.9-liter ISL G engines and Cascadia tractors with 11.9-liter ISX12 G engines.

Penske Truck Leasing offers a mixed fleet of some 200 CNG-fueled Freightliner Cascadia tractors (shown) and smaller M2 models.

Penske Truck Leasing offers a mixed fleet of some 200 CNG-fueled Freightliner Cascadia tractors (shown) and smaller M2 models.

Penske disclosed its plans to start with 100 compressed natural gas trucks for lease and rental at ACT Expo 2013 in Washington, D.C. (F&F, June 29).

The growing fleet of natural gas-powered Penske trucks is outfitted with differing CNG fuel cylinder arrays.

‘Whatever Their Needs Are’

The Cascadia tractors for rental, for example, have a 40-diesel-gallon-equivalent rail-mounted tank and a back-of-cab assembly holding an additional 75 GG for a total of 115 DGEs, says fuels and environmental affairs VP Drew Cullen.

“For lease customers we spec it for whatever their needs are,” he told F&F.

Within its five regions, Penske is positioning the rental trucks “where the density of fueling infrastructure is sufficient,” he adds.

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Source: Fleets & Fuels follow-up interview

Con-way Adds Two CNG Freightliners

January 27, 2014 in Fleet Order, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

ISX12 G-Powered Trucks Join a Pair of ISL G-Powered Vehicles,
New Cascadia 113s Are First with Factory CNG Tank Assemblies

Con-way Freight, which has a network of more than 300 service centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, has added a pair of Freightliner Cascadia 113 natural gas-powered tractors to its fleet. They are the first off the Freightliner production line in South Carolina with factory-installed CNG fuel cylinder assemblies.

Near-Zero-Emission NGV Pathways

January 27, 2014 in Publications by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

SoCalGas White Paper on Cleaning Up Heavy Duty Vehicles
Advocates Technologies Successfully Used in Light Duty Sector

Ultra-low-emission heavy-duty natural gas engines can help California achieve its air quality, climate protection and petroleum-displacement goals – if policymakers and manufacturers emulate the success of smaller vehicles, states a new report from Southern California Gas.

UPS Plans for 900-Plus LNG Trucks

January 27, 2014 in LNG, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Several Suppliers and Transporters Are Supporting Brown,
Jacksonville, Chicago, Indianapolis Getting the Most Trucks

LNG-fueled Kenworth T800 in UPS brown.

LNG-fueled Kenworth T800 in UPS brown.

UPS plans to have deployed between 900 and 1,000 liquefied natural gas-fueled tractors at more than a dozen locations by August, with Jacksonville, CACH (the firm’s Chicago Area Consolidated Hub) and Tennessee each getting more than 100, according to a company deployment plan. Texas will have 80 LNG trucks, mostly in Houston, by the end of this first quarter.

Several fuel suppliers and at least one LNG transport specialist are now talking up their roles.

So Far It’s Kenworth and Mack

As of October, UPS had deployed 114 LNG trucks (as well as 895 compressed natural gas vehicles), VP Scott Lavery said at the World LNG conference in Houston last week.

“The current order is with Kenworth and Mack,” Lavery says of the 2014 plans. Other suppliers may yet participate, but “At this point it’s a Kenworth and Mack show,” he told F&F.

Also in October, UPS expanded on a major LNG commitment disclosed earlier at ACT Expo 2013 in Washington, D.C., outlining plans for an investment of some $50 million to build nine more LNG fueling stations for a total of 13, all to be operational by the end of 2014, supporting the operation of approximately 1,000 trucks (F&F, October 14).

GP Strategies for UPS Fueling Facilites

GP Strategies is building the 13 LNG fueling stations, which come in addition to a long-standing UPS facility for LNG fueling in Ontario, Calif., east of Los Angeles.

Mack Trucks unveiled its LNG-fueled Pinnacle axle back tractor in UPS livery at MATS 2013 in Kentucky last year.

Mack Trucks unveiled its LNG-fueled Pinnacle axle back tractor in UPS livery at MATS 2013 in Kentucky last year.

AGL Resources’ Pivotal LNG will supply LNG for two UPS stations in Tennessee and for one Jacksonville – where Clean Energy Fuels has just opened a public station, naming UPS as a customer. Jacksonville is getting the most LNG trucks of all the UPS locations: 128 tractors. Nashville and Knoxville already have 66 and 56, respectively, according to the deployment plan as revealed by Lavery.

Indianapolis-based Kinetrex Energy said in October that it is modifying two existing utility peak shaver plants, at a cost of some $14 million, to produce natural gas for five LNG fueling stations at UPS distribution hubs in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Missouri. The UPS plan indicates that Indianapolis will have 73 LNG trucks by mid-year.

Wyomissing, Pa.-based UGI Energy Services said this month that it’s expanding its LNG production facility in eastern Pennsylvania in part to supply UPS trucks. There are to be 49 based in Harrisburg by the end of October.

An LNG-LNG rig operated by the Kenan Advantahe Group

An LNG-LNG rig operated by the Kenan Advantahe Group

Jack B. Kelley

Ohio’s Kenan Advantage Group said this month that its Merchant Gas Group has completed a transportation agreement with UPS to deliver LNG to 11 of the 13 new fueling hubs. Kenan-Merchant Gas subsidiaries include the pioneering LNG trucker Jack B. Kelley and Cryogenic Transportation.

“We are currently fueling the first two UPS LNG hubs in Knoxville and Nashville,” Jack B. Kelley president Mark Davis says in a Kenan release. “Our operations will include nine additional hubs in Texas and the Midwest.”

“With our combined fleet of over 500 power units and 400 cryogenic trailers (including 35 LNG) we are well poised to successfully manage this growing and exciting business with UPS,” David said. “Our North American footprint also allows us to grow into just about any region required by this valued customer.”

In addition to its NGVs, UPS has 102 all-electric vehicles, 380 hybrid electrics, 41 hydraulic hybrids, and 18 propane vehicles in the U.S., Lavery said in Houston.

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Source: UPS with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

US Hybrid for Transport Fuel Cells

January 27, 2014 in Companies, fuel cells by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

California Firm Reaches a Global Licensing Pact with UTC,
Says ‘The Execution of This Agreement is a Game-Changer’

Southern California’s US Hybrid reports a global licensing agreement with United Technologies Corp allowing it to commercialize the proton exchange membrane hydrogen fuel cells developed by UTC Power in Connecticut.

The PC58 is effectively US Hybrid's behind a licensing agreement with UTC.

The PC58 is effectively US Hybrid’s behind a licensing agreement with UTC.

The agreement “advances US Hybrid’s strategy to become the leading provider of integrated fuel cell power systems for transit buses, commercial trucks and off-road vehicles worldwide,” the company says. Coupled with a recent Federal Transit Administration award, it “thrusts US Hybrid to the forefront of hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing in the medium and heavy duty commercial vehicle sectors.”

“The execution of this agreement is a game-changer for US Hybrid and the commercial fuel cell vehicle industry,” US Hybrid president and CEO Abas Goodarzi said in a release. “This proven PEM fuel cell technology has accumulated millions of miles of revenue transit service with no cell stack failures to date.

‘A Commercially-Viable, Integrated Fuel Cell Power System’

“US Hybrid is committed to improving upon this technology to manufacture a commercially-viable, integrated fuel cell power system to enable the Americas, Europe and Asia to meet their GHG reduction goals,” Goodarzi said.

US Hybrid is likely to keep the 'PureMotion' handle for the fuel cells initially developed by United Technologies – seen here in a Van Hool bus operated by Oakland, Calif.-based AC Transit.

US Hybrid is likely to keep the ‘PureMotion’ handle for the fuel cells initially developed by United Technologies – seen here in a Van Hool bus operated by Oakland, Calif.-based AC Transit.

US Hybrid will continue development and refinement of products including the UTC-developed including the PureMotion 150 (aka the PC58) from UTC – likely keeping the PureMotion tradename, according to business development VP Mike Tosca, himself a UTC veteran. “We could have units available this year,” he told F&F.

US Hybrid has taken over UTC’s fuel cell facility in South Windsor, Connecticut, where it plans to complete development, fabrication and validation of fuel cells with support from its Torrance, Calif. headquarters and from Magmotor in Worcester, Mass.

Already a Supplier of Key Ancillary Gear

US Hybrid notes that it has been a key supplier of such “balance of plant” components as cathode air blowers, DI (de-ionized water) pumps and power converters to UTC and other fuel cell suppliers for more than a decade.

The California company says it will add fuel cell production to its various core competencies: “system design, integration and operation of fuel cell buses, trucks, military and specialty vehicles, as well as supporting fuel cells with component electronics.”

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Source: US Hybrid with Fleets & Fuels follow-up


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