ACT Expo 2018

Monthly Archives: November 2014

Clean Cities Strategy on February 25

November 28, 2014 in Alternative Fuels, Conference/Meeting by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Washington, D.C. Gathering on a Five-Year Alt Fuels Plan

The U.S. Department of Energy is hosting a meeting at its Washington headquarters on February 25 to help develop a five-year strategic plan for the Clean Cities program.

CleanCities_logoOfficials will identify “strategic opportunities to increase the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and to employ emissions-reducing technologies,” states an invitation to stakeholders.

“It has been five years,” the agency says, “since DoE Clean Cities convened its coalitions, national laboratories, and energy and transportation experts to take stock of the program’s progress and direction.”


2.5 Billion Gallons by 2025

“By gathering expert opinions on current and future opportunities, DoE Clean Cities will construct a plan that will advance the energy, economic, and environmental security of the United States and prepare us for meeting the Clean Cities national goal of displacing 2.5 billion gallons of petroleum per year, by 2020.

Clean Cities coalitions and stakeholders have saved nearly 6.5 billion gallons of petroleum since the program's inception in 1993 – one billion gallons in 2013 alone.

Clean Cities displaced one billion gallons of conventional fuels for the first time last year (F&F, November 24).

“This plan will be used to guide decision-making for Clean Cities nationally, and to guide the work of the coalitions in achieving their local objectives.”

Fuels and technologies to be assessed include natural gas, biofuels, propane-autogas, plug-in electric vehicles and idle reduction and fuel economy by both fleet and consumer vehicles.


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Source: U.SA. Clean Cities with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Biomethane Powers ‘Poo’ Bus in Bath, UK

November 28, 2014 in Biofuels, Biomethane, CNG, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Bio-Bus Using Fuel from Wessex Water-Geneco Sewage Plant
Gets Wide Attention as the ‘Poo’ Bus, aka a Scania Enviro 300

The UK’s Bath Bus Company, a subsidiary of France’s RATP, is operating a 41-passenger biomethane-fueled Scania Enviro 300 bus for service to the Bristol Airport. The fuel is derived from sewage via anaerobic digestion at a Wessex Water-Geneco wastewater treatment plant. The vehicle has garnered wide attention as the “poo bus.”
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Eco-Motive’s Bi-Fuel ‘H’ Engine

November 26, 2014 in CNG, Technology by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘A Leap Forward’ Said to Be Easily Adaptable to Existing Engines

Southern California’s Eco-Motive has received a patent for its “H” engine, which features a split design with two banks, each powered exclusively by either gasoline or natural gas.
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Rush Pulls Out the Stops on Natural Gas

November 26, 2014 in CNG, Companies, LNG, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Ten Rush Truck Centers Have Service Bays for CNG and LNG,
President Rusty Rush Shares His Thoughts with Fleets & Fuels

Rush Enterprises, which boasts the largest network of commercial vehicle dealerships in the United States, representing such truck and bus manufacturers as Peterbilt, Navistar International, Hino, Isuzu, Ford, IC Bus and Blue Bird, is making a firm commitment to natural gas fuel.

Recent announcements include two bays dedicated to natural gas vehicle service at the relocated Rush Truck Center in Orlando, and a dedicated NGV service area at the firm’s expanded facility in Abilene, Texas.

Rush handles CNG and LNG trucks at a growing number of service centers, including Phoenix.

Rush handles CNG and LNG trucks at a growing number of service centers, including Phoenix.

“We are committed to supporting our customers who choose to run natural gas vehicles,” says W.M. “Rusty” Rush, chairman, CEO and president of the 100-plus dealership network.

First Dedicated NGV Facility, in Houston

Early in 2015, he says, Rush will open its first dedicated state-of-the-art natural gas facility, investing more than $700,000 at the Rush Truck Center in Houston. Services will include fuel tank inspections.

“Since 2005,” Rush says, “our alternative fuel sales specialists have sold more than 3,380 units, with 46% of those sold in the past two years, so we see popularity increasing.

“We anticipate that by 2017, 8% to 10% of industry sales will be natural gas vehicles,” he told F&F.

More Than 120 Certified NGV Technicians

The firm offers NGV service at ten locations: in Orlando and in Ardmore, Okla.; in Atlanta; at Abilene, Corpus Christi, Laredo and Lufkin in Texas; Phoenix and Yuma, Ariz.; and in Whittier, Calif. Rush has more than 120 Peterbilt and Cummins factory-trained and certified NGV technicians.

“We have also evaluated an additional 44 locations across the network,” Rush says, In addition to Houston, Rush is developing natural gas capabilities in Dallas and San Antonio; Nashville; Jacksonville; Denver; Charlotte; Oklahoma City and Fontana, Calif., all by late 2015.


NGV for All New Facilities

“We have used several different approaches to equip our dealerships for natural gas service, with investments ranging between $50,000 to upwards of $200,000 per facility,” Rush says.

And perhaps most important: “We are including dedicated natural gas service infrastructure in all new facility construction.”


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Source: Rush Enterprises with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Ryder Is Taking Tops All-CNG: 55 Trucks

November 26, 2014 in CNG, Fleet Order, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Freightliner Cascadias with Quantum Fuel Systems for Next Year
And a New CNG Station by American Natural Gas to Support Them

New York State’s Tops Friendly Markets is converting its entire fleet to compressed natural gas, Ryder System reported Tuesday, noting that the grocery retailer has signed a full service lease agreement for 55 CNG tractors to be delivered in mid-2015.

Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops could halve its fuel costs, Ryder says, “through a reduction of 1,200,000 gallons of diesel fuel consumption.” The Buffalo-area firm operates in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western Vermont, operating 162 full-service supermarkets.

Tops is replacing its existing diesels with a fleet of 55 new Freightliner Cascadia trucks, CNG-fueled, from Ryder System. They'll have 120-DGE, three-cylinder fuel systems from Quantum.

Tops is replacing its existing diesels with a fleet of 55 new Freightliner Cascadia trucks, CNG-fueled, from Ryder System. They’ll have 120-DGE, three-cylinder fuel systems from Quantum.

In addition to the new CNG trucks, Ryder will provide maintenance from its Buffalo service facility, which is being upgraded for compliance with natural gas standards. The project announced this week is Ryder’s first with Tops.

With Ryder, ‘We Have the Confidence’

“Our priorities are to have a reliable fleet of well-maintained vehicles to ensure our stores receive deliveries on time,” Tops senior distribution and logistics VP Ron Ferri says in the Ryder announcement. “With Ryder’s natural gas vehicles, we have the confidence that we can get the service and performance we need from our new natural gas fleet, while operating more cost-efficiently and environmentally friendly.”

Ferri told F&F that Ryder will furnish Freightliner Cascadia tractors with the 11.9-liter ISX12 G engine from Cummins Westport and CNG fuel cylinder assemblies from Quantum. One back-of-cab and two side-mount tanks will hold 120 diesel gallon equivalents of CNG (two 45 DGE tanks on the sides with a single, rear-window preserving 30-DGE unit aft). Quantum manufactures its own Q-Lite brand all-composite Type IV CNG cylinders.


Cobey Compressors at New Facility by ANG

American Natural Gas, which already operates a public-access facility convenient for Tops immediately east of Buffalo in Lancaster, N.Y., will build a private station for Tops to be completed in May. ANG will use twin 400-horsepower compressors from Cobey Energy (F&F, September 30), says CEO Drew West. The facility is to have one split-flow and two transit-speed dispensers.

“Ryder is leveraging its leadership in natural gas to make it as easy as possible for customers to implement sustainable transportation solutions that also enable them to realize meaningful cost-savings and efficiencies,” Ryder global fleet management solutions president Dennis Cooke said in the Tops announcement.

They’ll all be pulled by CNG tractors.

They’ll all be pulled by CNG tractors.

“When companies like Tops Friendly Markets choose Ryder to manage their fleets, they can focus on driving what matters to them – managing their core business and servicing their customers,” Cooke said.

Ryder says it has more than 27 million miles of natural gas experience, with 14 natural gas vehicle maintenance facilities, and 260 NGV-trained technicians. Ryder has deployed CNG and LNG/liquefied NGVs with fleet customers in California, New York, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Maryland, Georgia and Louisiana, and recently expanded its CNG truck business to Canada (F&F, October 24).

John Walsh is business development director for fleet management solutions at Ryder.

George Wright is transportation GM at Tops Markets.


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Source: Ryder System with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

PennDoT Seeks CNG: Up to 37 Stations

November 25, 2014 in CNG, money available, NGVs, Solicitation by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

RFQ Issued for Transit Facilities, Shortlist and Teams to Be Named in January

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is looking for industry help with as many as 37 compressed natural gas fueling stations to support transit agencies in the state. “Each fueling site must provide access to CNG for public transit and other CNG vehicles alike,” PennDoT says.
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Argonne Evaluates Propane Bus Fleets

November 24, 2014 in Propane, Publications by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Finds 50% Cost-per-Mile Reductions for Some, But Challenges Too

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has released a study that examines five school bus fleets that are successfully using propane autogas to fuel buses.


This case study highlights five school districts that used propane-fueled school buses successfully.

The case study highlights five school districts that used propane-fueled school buses successfully.

“The case study describes how some of the school districts saved nearly 50% on a cost per mile basis for fuel and maintenance relative to diesel, in addition to seeing a variety of other environmental and social benefits,” states an Argonne summary.

AFLEET Applied

The study “describes both the benefits and challenges of deploying propane in school bus fleets,” states a release. Argonne used the AFLEET – Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation – tool developed for DoE’s Clean Cities program (F&F, November 7, 2013) to evaluate the vehicles’’ performance.

The fleets examined are

  • Alvin Independent School District in Texas: 28 buses;
  • Dallas County Schools: 10 buses;
  • Northside ISD (Texas): 59 buses;
  • Ysleta ISD (Texas): 8 buses; and
  • Gloucester County Schools (Virginia): 5 buses.

The results showed payback periods ranging from three to eight years. The study also found “that propane school buses exhibited a smaller fuel efficiency penalty relative to diesel buses than typically expected.”


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Source: Argonne National Lab with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

BYD to Show All-Battery 60-Footer

November 24, 2014 in Electric Drive, event, EVs, transit by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

120-Passenger Electric Bus in Long Beach, Calif. on December 3

BYD will show off its new 100% battery-powered 60-foot transit bus – billed as the world’s largest electric vehicle – at a media event in Long Beach, Calif. on December 3.
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EnerDel Lithium Battery for WMATA

November 24, 2014 in batteries, Hybrids by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Pack Delivered with Allison Parts Distributor Johnson and Towers

EnerDel says it’s completed the installation of one of its nickel metal hydride-replacing PP320-738-LP Vigor+ lithium ion battery packs into a hybrid electric bus operated by WMATA, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

The EnerDel Vigor+ lithium battery pack for WMATA was supplied in partnership with Allison distributor Johnson and Towers.

The EnerDel Vigor+ lithium battery pack for WMATA was supplied in partnership with Allison distributor Johnson and Towers.

The low-profile battery packs are designed to replace factory NiMH packs in buses with parallel hybrid drives from Allison Transmission (F&F, June 7).

It’s an off-the-shelf product, EnerDel says, with more than three times the rated energy of the existing NiMH system. Established diagnostic reporting is maintained and the product is Buy American compliant.

A Five-Year Pact with Allison

Agencies using the EnerDel replacement packs include the Seattle area’s King County Metro Transit, the Oahu Transit Authority in Hawaii, and Greater Cleveland Regional Transit.

The pack for the WMATA bus, EnerDel says, was furnished, delivered, and installed in partnership with New Jersey-based Johnson and Towers.


EnerDel said too this month that it’s finalized terms with Allison for a five-year agreement allowing EnerDel to market its low-profile PP320-689-LP Vigor+ pack as approved support equipment. The five-year term length of the agreement rounds out a strategic relationship that was initiated in September, EnerDel said.


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Source: EnerDel with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

More EDI Plug-In Trucks for PG&E

November 24, 2014 in Electric Drive, Fleet Order, Hybrids by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Utility Expects to Take Ten More Plug-In Trucks in 2015

Pacific Gas & Electric expects to deploy another ten plug-in hybrid electric trucks with drivelines from Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. of Dixon, Calif. in 2015, the utility said this morning. PG&E currently has three, two with power export capability.
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29 More RunWise Trucks for Miami

November 24, 2014 in Fleet Order, Hybrids, Hydraulic Hybrid by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Parker Hannifin Hydraulic Drive Cuts Fuel Burn by As Much as Half

Florida’s Miami-Dade County has placed its third order for Autocar E3 refuse trucks with the RunWise hydraulic hybrid drivetrain, manufacturer Parker Hannifin reports.
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Clean Cities Wants to Help Pool AFV Buys

November 24, 2014 in Alternative Fuels, Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids, money available, NGVs, Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

DoE Unit Moves to Set Up a Purchasing/Procurement Process
To Coordinate Multiple-Fleet Alternative Fuel Vehicle Orders

The U.S. Energy Department’s Clean Cities organization is kicking off a new program to help develop and implement a purchasing/procurement process to coordinate bulk alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle orders.


“By developing a process for companies and organizations to consolidate their orders, it could help vehicle manufacturers achieve better economies of scale and lower prices per unit,” Clean Cities says.

Clean Cities coalitions and stakeholders have saved nearly 6.5 billion gallons of petroleum since the program's inception in 1993 – one billion gallons in 2013 alone.

Clean Cities coalitions and stakeholders have saved nearly 6.5 billion gallons of petroleum since the program’s inception in 1993 – one billion gallons in 2013 alone.

“If vehicle fleets or consumers could purchase vehicles in larger quantities, or participate in aggregate purchasing initiatives, manufacturers would be able to reduce per vehicle costs resulting in lower prices,” states the formal Notice of Intent for the new Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Better Economies of Scale for AFVs

The FOA (DE-FOA-0001237) is titled Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Procurement Aggregating Initiatives. It was issued by the Vehicle Technologies Office of EERE, DoE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

“The objective of this FOA is to develop and implement effective purchasing/procurement processes designed to coordinate and consolidate bulk alternative fuel vehicle and advanced vehicle orders and reduce per-unit prices of commercially-available vehicles,” the Notice states.

Tampa is the newest Clean Cities Coalition member.

Tampa is the newest Clean Cities Coalition member.

“It is anticipated that the aggregated purchasing/procurement process will enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers to increase production volumes, achieve economies of scale, and reduce incremental vehicle costs specific to electric drive, natural gas, propane, hybrid, and other alternative fuel vehicle and advanced vehicle technologies.”

Clean Cities has also noted the program milestone of displacing one billion gallons of conventional petroleum fuels, in 2013 – toward the goal of 2.5 billion gallons per year by 2020.


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Source: DoE/Clean Cities with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

ACT Expo 2015 Is Fast Taking Shape

November 24, 2014 in ACT Expo 2015, Biodiesel, Biomethane, CNG, Conference/Meeting, Electric Drive, event, EVs, Hybrids, Hydrogen, LNG, NGVs, Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Preliminary Agenda Released for May’s Meeting in Dallas with
All the Alts: Propane, EVs, NGVs, the NACFE/Carbon War Room

Organizers of the 2015 Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo have released the agenda for the meeting to be held May 4-7 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas – and event registration has opened.
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ProCOT Extends Incentives to Retrofits

November 21, 2014 in money available, Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Propane Council of Texas Offers Up to $7,500 Per Vehicle

The Propane Council of Texas has boosted its incentives to private fleets deploying autogas vehicles to cover up to $7,500 for aftermarket conversions.
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Gaz Métro Lauds CNG for Gaudreau

November 21, 2014 in CNG, Fleet Order, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

First Québec City Firm to Choose Natural Gas ‘On a Permanent Basis,’
Labrie Side-Loaders with Luxfer Type IIIs on Freightliner 114SD Chassis

Canada’s Gaz Métro Transport Solutions is praising Gaudreau Environnement as “the first company to choose natural gas as a fuel on a permanent basis within Québec City.” Gaudreau has taken delivery of two Freightliner trucks outfitted for compressed natural gas operation with side-loading bodies by the Labrie Enviroquip Group.
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GKN’s Two-Speed eAxle for EVs

November 21, 2014 in Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids, Technology by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

BMW Is Using It on the i8 Hybrid Electric, GKN Says

GKN is talking up the industry’s first two-speed eAxle for electric drive vehicles. The product has entered production on the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid electric sports car, the supplier says.
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VW Shows Research Fuel Cell Car

November 21, 2014 in Electric Drive, fuel cells, Hydrogen by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Golf SportWagen HyMotion Reflects Volkswagen’s Hydrogen Strategy:
Place the New Alternative Drivelines in High-Volume Production Vehicles

Volkswagen is staging the world premiere of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion, a hydrogen fuel cell research vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the public today and runs through November 30.
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