ACT Expo 2017


ACT Expo 2017 Speaker Line-Up

March 24, 2017 in ACT Expo 2017, Alternative Fuels, Biomethane, CNG, Conference/Meeting, Electric Drive, event, EVs, fuel cells, Game Changer, Hybrids, Hydraulic Hybrid, Hydrogen, investments, LNG, Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Key Meeting Is Early This Coming May in Long Beach

Organizers of 2017’s Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo have released the speaker line-up for the event, which takes place May 1-4 at Southern California’s Long Beach Convention Center.

Gain insight from progressive fleet operators, advanced vehicle OEMs, clean fuel suppliers, and other industry leaders, says ACT Expo organizer (and Fleets & Fuels publisher GNA – Santa Monica, Calif.-based Gladstein, Neandross & Associates.

Thom Shea

ACT Expo 2017’s opening keynote speaker is Thom Shea, CEO of Greenville, S.C.-based Adamantine Alliance. Shea is a former U.S. Navy SEAL, author, “and renowned leadership and human performance coach.

‘Thrive in the Face of Adversity’

“With a number of policy and budget changes at the federal level, and the always present oil price roller coaster, the advanced technology and alternative fuels sectors face continued uncertainty and possible headwinds,” says GNA.

“Shea will share (non-classified) first-hand accounts from his time as a Navy SEAL and exhilarating insight on how the world’s most successful people can thrive in the face of adversity and uncertainty.”

‘All Fleet Applications’

Further, says GNA, ACT Expo attendees will learn from organizations that are driving clean transportation progress “across all fleet applications in the midst of an ever-changing market and regulatory environment.”

The four-day conference schedule is shaping up with presentations from more than 200 speakers, including

  • Gary Maresca, senior director of fleet services, Bimbo Bakeries USA;
  • Pete Melin, director of zero emission technology, Metro Transit of King County;
  • Kathryn Garcia, commissioner, New York City Department of Sanitation;
  • Mark Matheson, CEO & president, Matheson Trucking;
  • Mike Casteel, director of fleet procurement, UPS;
  • Sandra Berg, vice chair, California Air Resources Board;
  • Randy Frye, State Representative, District 67, Indiana State House of Representatives;
  • Kary Schaefer, marketing and strategy GM, Daimler Trucks North America;
  • Steve Center, VP, environmental business development & product regulatory office, American Honda;
  • Bob Myers, division chief of equipment, California Department of Transportation;
  • Jonathan Randall, senior VP, North American Sales, Mack Trucks;
  • Mike Silva, civil engineer & project manager, CR&R; and
  • Rob Neitzke, president, Cummins Westport.

View the full ACT Expo 2017 agenda.

Registrations are discounted until March 31Click here.

The ACT Expo 2017 exhibition hall is open May 2-3.

GNA/ACT Expo info, Alexis Wiley, 310-573-8552; [email protected];

The 2017 edition of the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo takes place May 1-4 at Southern California’s Long Beach Convention Center. Click image or here for more.

ANG Buys Questar & Constellation CNG

December 28, 2016 in CNG, Companies, Infrastructure, investments, milestones, NGVs, trucking by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

American Natural Gas Now Has Some 40 Outlets in 13 States
Serving Anheuser-Busch, Frito-Lay, Swift, and Central Freight

Hard-charging American Natural Gas has expanded its network of compressed natural gas fueling outlets to approximately 40, announcing just prior to Christmas the acquisition of 11 CNG stations in Arizona, Kansas, Texas, Utah, California, and Colorado through the acquisition of Questar Fueling, and seven stations in Indiana and Ohio via the acquisition of Constellation CNG.

Federal $4.5 Billion for EVs and EVSE

July 22, 2016 in batteries, Companies, Electric Drive, EVs, EVSE, Infrastructure, investments, milestones, money available by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Up to $4.5 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Charging,
Dozens of OEMs, Utilities, Government Groups Joining
Together to Support ‘An Unprecedented Set of Actions’

The Obama Administration is maintaining its support for electric vehicles with gusto, detailing yesterday a plan for as much as $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to support the commercial-scale deployment of innovative electric vehicle charging facilities.

Faraday Breaks Ground for EV Plant

April 18, 2016 in Companies, EVs, investments by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Billion Dollar Environmentally Friendly Facility in North Las Vegas

Faraday Future has hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for a state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly factory for electric vehicles at the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas.

Westport Reports Cartesian Financing

January 12, 2016 in Companies, investments, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

As Much as $71.3 Million from Global Private Equity Firm
‘Removes Any Concern Regarding Westport’s Balance Sheet’

Westport Innovations said Monday that it’s entered into an agreement with New York’s Cartesian Capital Group for as much as $71.3 million in financing.

“The financing agreement immediately provides $17.5 million in non-dilutive capital with up to $53.8 million in additional capital contingent on reaching key milestones and establishing new investment opportunities,” Westport said, with a contingent payment derived substantially from future HPDI/high pressure direct injection product sales.

Westport CEO David Demers

Westport CEO David Demers

Cartesian managing partner and founder Peter Yu will be appointed to the Westport board.

Key Stipulations

Westport cites four key investment tranches:

  • $17.5 million immediately, in consideration for an innovative technology income streaming facility: contingent payments to Cartesian are based on a percentage of amounts received by Westport on select HPDI and joint venture products in excess of agreed thresholds through 2025.
  • $17.5 million in convertible debenture notes: The convertible debenture notes, expected to close upon completion of the Fuel Systems Solutions (FSYS) merger scheduled for mid-February, feature a 9% coupon, a 4.5 year term, and are convertible into newly issued shares of Westport at $2.31 per share – a 51% premium to Friday, January 8th’s closing price. Fifty percent of the convertible debenture notes may be converted into equity at Westport’s election if, after two years, the share price is greater than $4.62 for 20 out of 30 days and reflects more than $3 million in average daily trading volume.
  • $16.3 million through the sale of assets: Westport has agreed to sell $16.3 million in assets to Cartesian, subject to final due diligence, and expects this transaction to be completed by May 30th. Details of the assets will be disclosed upon completion.
  • $20 million in additional streaming capacity: Cartesian has committed up to an additional $20 million to Westport to support two or more product development ventures as may be agreed upon between the parties. The new streaming facilities would provide development funding for Westport in exchange for a contingent payment on products developed by the new ventures.

The investment agreement also provides for Westport to receive 30% of gains realized by Cartesian if certain return thresholds are met.

“This financing creates a solid financial foundation and clear path to the commercial launch of key products,” Westport CEO David Demers said in a release. “It also removes any concern regarding Westport’s balance sheet.”

Low Oil Price ‘Has Masked the Importance of Methane’

“The commitment from Cartesian signifies the importance of natural gas to the environment and ratifies that short-term energy market volatility has masked the importance of methane as a transport fuel,” Demers said.

“The natural gas engine and vehicle industry has a compelling future and Westport represents a key part of that future. This financing will be a critical part our of our success.”

‘An Industry that Is Essential’

“The pending merger with Fuel Systems Solutions, combined with this financing agreement, creates a formidable global force in the natural gas engine and vehicle market. With the financing behind us and the merger progressing towards completion, we can increase our focus on streamlining operations, investing in innovative technology and launching key products into attractive markets,” Demers added.

According to Yu, as quoted in the Westport announcement, Westport’s proven technology, unmatched innovation capabilities, and world-class management will continue to lead and drive the natural gas engine industry – an industry that is essential for sustainable global growth.”

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Source: Westport Innovations with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation

January 11, 2016 in Alternative Fuels, Electric Drive, investments, money awarded by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Technical Assistance, Project Development, Funding Support

The new, California Energy Commission-funded San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is to “provide technical assistance, project development expertise, and support with acquiring funding for San Joaquin Valley vehicle fleet owners, local governments, businesses, and residents,” Calstart said today.

Qualcomm Webinar on Wireless Charging

November 11, 2015 in Alternative Fuels, Electric Drive, EVs, industrial, investments, Research, Technology, Testing, transit by Jon LeSage  |  No Comments

Wireless Charging Moving Forward

Wireless charging will contribute to mass-market production of electric vehicles by automakers and their suppliers, according to a webinar presented by Qualcomm Halo. Keith Malinson, an industry analyst with WiseHarbor, and Anthony Thomson, vice president of development and marketing, Qualcomm Halo, gave a presentation on the technology innovations bringing wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC) to market.

UPS Deploying 18 Electric Trucks

November 10, 2015 in Alternative Fuels, Electric Drive, EVs, industrial, investments, Research, Technology, Testing, transit by Jon LeSage  |  No Comments

DoE Provided Grant Funding

UPS has purchased 18 electric delivery vehicles for the Houston-Galveston area in Texas. The purchases are part of a partnership with U.S. Department of Energy, local governments, and the non-profit Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE). These vehicles were designed by the Workhorse Group for UPS, and are expected to reduce consumption of an estimated 1.1 million gallons of diesel fuel over 20 years.

TransPower and IKEA Test Tractor

November 10, 2015 in Alternative Fuels, Electric Drive, EVs, industrial, investments, Research, Technology, Testing, transit by Jon LeSage  |  No Comments

Year-long Test Results from Electric Truck

IKEA and TransPower announced results from their first year of testing a demonstration vehicle. An electric yard tractor has been driven at IKEA’s distribution center in Tejon, Calif. TransPower’s electric propulsion has powered a Kalmar heavy-duty tractor, which is being used to minimize CO2 emissions.

Smith EVs Is Back With Chinese Backing

May 10, 2015 in ACT Expo 2015, batteries, Companies, Electric Drive, EVs, investments, New Products by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

$35 Million Joint Venture Means ‘Stability, Capital, Capacity’
As FDG Will Supply Smith and Capitalize on Smith’s Past Work
For Expanded Line of Fully Battery Electric Commercial Vehicles

With 12 million on-road miles on its all-electric delivery truck fleet, Smith Electric Vehicles is transitioning from demonstration phase to scale, with the announcement the week of ACT Expo 2015 of a $35 million joint venture with Hong Kong-based battery and vehicle producer FDG Electric Vehicles Limited.

The JV allows Smith to “go to our partners and say, ‘We have stability, capital, capacity,’” business strategy and process VP Terry Pageler told F&F-powered ShowTimes in Dallas.

Smith Electric Vehicle ‘Newton’ truck operating in Frito-Lay’s Dallas-area fleet was shown at ACT Expo 2015. It has 36,000 miles on its odometer.

Smith Electric Vehicle ‘Newton’ truck operating in Frito-Lay’s Dallas-area fleet was shown at ACT Expo 2015. It has 36,000 miles on its odometer.

Smith’s customers include Coca-Cola, FedEx Express, Staples and Frito-Lay, Smith’s largest customer, whose 88-kilowatt-hour 2012 Smith Newton was shown at ACT Expo. It’s one of 265 Smiths in the company’s national fleet, says Mike O’Connell, Frito-Lay senior director of fleet operations.

Smith Resumed Production in January

“The trucks have been great. Drivers like them. They meet all our needs.”

The JV trucks will incorporate Smith’s platform, control software and subsystems in a new 12,000- to 16,500-GVW range truck with FDG’s batteries. A modular approach will let customers choose battery capacity of roughly 20 to 160 kilowatt-hours, depending on their unique needs, Pageler said in Dallas. The trucks will be assembled in Kansas City.

According to the FDG announcement, Smith restarted production of its re-tooled Newton line of commercial battery electric trucks in January, and “expects to scale up manufacturing operations in the United States over the coming 18-24 months commensurate with the launch of this new product.”

The new JV company “is to bring world-class next generation technology to accelerate commercial fleet electrification in the U.S. market.” In addition to Smith’s Newton truck, it will offer the Smith Drive, Smith Link and Smith Power subsystems, as well as the new all-electric commercial EV, lithium ion batteries and all-electric powertrain, “as well as infrastructure, energy contracts and financing.”

A New, ‘Ground-Up’ Platform

The new 12,000- to 16,500-GVW Smith-FDG truck is promised in multiple configurations including cab/chassis, van, including step-through van, and transit. “Unlike existing offerings in this GVW range, which are modified versions of passenger vans or require a separate upfit, this platform has been designed, from the ground-up, exclusively for long-life commercial applications like postal and parcel delivery and people transit,” the announcement says.

Smith Electric Vehicles has long been making the case for battery-powered commercial vehicles. This image is from a Smith Newton technical manual from September 2012.

Smith Electric Vehicles has long been making the case for battery-powered commercial vehicles. This image is from a Smith Newton technical manual from September 2012.

“It will complement the existing all-electric Newton platform, which is currently offered in the 14,000- to 26,000-GVW range.”

“The JV will contract exclusively with Smith Electric for product development services, vehicle manufacturing, service and support, and with FDG for the supply of lithium ion batteries and SKD [semi knocked down] kits.”

Smith’s existing Newton trucks are based on chassis from Avia Ashok Leyland in the Czech Republic.

‘The Time Is Now’

“We believe the time is now for market acceptance of commercial electric vehicles,” Smith CEO Bryan Hansel says in the JV announcement. “We are seeing all of the indications that the market that we helped establish has now turned the corner from the R&D phase to the commercial phase.

“In establishing this JV, we believe this will accelerate our new technology platform development,” Hansel said. “The new company leverages FDG’s ground-up commercial all-electric vehicle designs and its electric vehicle manufacturing facility, which can produce up to 100,000 vehicle per annum, as well as Smith’s 12 million-plus miles of commercial vehicle experience to offer a complete fleet electrification solution.”

“FDG believes that the electric vehicle is the future mainstream of the global automotive industry and that’s why we are a pure electric vehicle company,” said FDG executive chairman Cao Zhong.

‘Mutual Recognition of Each Other’s Technologies’

“We deeply value our relationship with Smith and the formation of the JV represents the mutual recognition of each other’s technologies, the mutual respect for both teams’ professionalism, dedication and passion for electric vehicles. The combined force will be well positioned as a global leader,” he said.

FDG, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, is described as “a vertically integrated electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery manufacturer engaged in the R&D, production and distribution of all-electric vehicles.”

FDG has EV plants in Hangzhou and Kunming and lithium ion battery plants in Jilin and Tianjin.


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Source: FDG & Smith EVs, Fleets & Fuels at ACT Expo 2015 in Dallas

PERC Funds Icom Direct Injection

March 3, 2015 in certifications, Companies, investments, money awarded, Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

$600,000 for JTGhp High Pressure Liquid Propane Direct Injection System
As Icom North America Receives Investment Too from Solis Capital Partners

The Propane Education & Research Council is backing work on emissions certifications for direct-injection engines fueled by propane autogas, earmarking $600,000 for Icom North America.

Amp Trillium CNG in Sweetwater, Texas

November 5, 2014 in CNG, investments, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Fourth of Seven Stations with Dairy Trucking Groups

The Amp Trillium joint venture has opened the first public access compressed natural gas fueling station in Sweetwater, Texas. The 24/7 facility can fuel as many as three Class 8 trucks simultaneously at ten to 12 GGE/gasoline gallon equivalents per minute utilizing Trillium CNG’s fast-fill hydraulic intensifier technology.

The Sweetwater station is the fourth of seven public CNG stations to be opened as part of an agreement with Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers (F&F, October 8, 2013).

The new station off I-20 in Sweetwater, Texas ‘fills a major CNG fueling void in this area of the state,’ Amp Trillium says.

The new station off I-20 in Sweetwater, Texas ‘fills a major CNG fueling void in this area of the state,’ Amp Trillium says.

The station is directly en route for drivers heading west out of Dallas and Fort Worth and south from Lubbock on Interstate 20, states a release, and thus “fills a major CNG fueling void in this area of the state.”

‘Ideal Location’

It’s “the ideal location for serving the state’s enormous agricultural and oil field industries,” AmpCNG co-founder and engineering director Steve Josephs said in a release.

“With about 8,500 tractor trailer rigs passing through on a daily basis, the station will play a huge role in keeping our West Texas air clean,” said Ken Becker, executive director of SEED, the Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development.

Brock, Kerrville and Midland Soon

The joint venture between AmpCNG and Trillium CNG is to bring three additional stations to Texas (Brock, Kerrville and Midland) within the next six months. Amp Trillium stations in Amarillo, Waco and Harrold opened earlier this year.

A Sweetwater ribbon-cutting is planned for early in 2015.

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Source: Amp Trillium with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Lightning Hybrids Gets New Funding

November 5, 2014 in Companies, Hybrids, Hydraulic Hybrid, investments by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Money to Ramp Up Fifth-Generation Hydraulic Hybrid System
And for ‘a Major Push’ into Developing International Markets

Colorado’s Lightning Hybrids says that proceeds from a current funding round are being used to ramp up manufacturing of the company’s fifth-generation hydraulic hybrid drivetrain system for trucks and buses, “and to make a major push into international markets, especially in developing countries.”

Clean Energy Sets Mark, Makes Buy

October 16, 2014 in CNG, Companies, investments, milestones by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Delivers 50.6 Equivalent Gallons of Natural Gas in Third Quarter,
Acquires Controlling Stake in NG Advantage to Broaden Its Market

Clean Energy Fuels reports delivery of 50.6 million gasoline equivalent gallons of compressed natural gas during the third quarter – a company record. Clean Energy also disclosed plans to boost its CNG sales further, for industrial users: it’s to take a controlling interest in New England’s NG Advantage, which was founded in 2011 and which delivers CNG via tube trailer to off-pipeline customers. updated on October 22


Hexagon Lincoln Closes Acquisition

October 14, 2014 in CNG, Companies, investments by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Buys Assets of MasterWorks & Helman for $1.7 Million

Hexagon Lincoln has invested $1.7 million to acquire the principal assets of the MasterWorks family of businesses: MasterWorks Machining, MasterWorks Composite Solutions, and Helman Tensioners, the company said Monday.

Hexagon Lincoln is gearing up to manufacture more of its Tuffshell brand all-composite Type IV CNG cylinders, and to do so with increased automation.

Hexagon Lincoln is gearing up to manufacture more of its Tuffshell brand all-composite Type IV CNG cylinders, and to do so with increased automation.

The 29-employee, Maryland-based businesses were already supporting Hexagon Lincoln’s filament-winding of carbon fiber for production of its all-composite Tuffshell brand compressed natural gas fuel cylinders, says Hexagon Lincoln president Jack Schimenti.

‘Long-Term Strategy’

Bringing them in-house, he says, will help Hexagon Lincoln move to more automated processes as part of a $26 million capacity expansion in Lincoln, Neb.

“It fits into our long-term strategy,” he told F&F. The MasterWorks knowhow will also support Hexagon Lincoln’s new joint venture with Agility Fuel Systems, which is to see Type IV tank and CNG cylinder assembly production at a new location (F&F, May 6).

The MasterWorks entities are to operate under a newly formed entity, MasterWorks, Inc., as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hexagon Lincoln, and will continue offering “world class services and products to the composites industry,” states the acquisition announcement.

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Source: Hexagon Lincoln with Fleets & Fuels follow-up Teams with Randy Marion

July 8, 2014 in CNG, Companies, investments, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

They’ll Jointly Promote CNG over GM Dealer’s Nine-State Southeast Reach

Pennsylvania-based compressed natural gas provider is talking up a new pact with General Motors dealer Randy Marion to promote light duty natural gas vehicles to fleet customers – “in coordination with VNG offering conveniently located and retail oriented CNG fueling locations.”

Randy Marion for the NGVs, and VNG to fuel them.

Randy Marion Fleet is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C. just north of Charlotte, and according to VNG is the leading GM dealer in the nine-state southwest region.

“Many of our customers are interested in the benefits of CNG powered pickup trucks, vans and passenger cars, but the lack of fueling stations has kept them on the sideline,” said Randy Marion fleet GM Brad Sigmon says in the VNG announcement.

‘Benefits of CNG Drop Right to the Bottom Line’

“With the benefit of VNG’s national fueling program at retail gasoline stations a major obstacle to delivering more light duty NGVs to fleet customers is being overcome.”

Randy Marion for the NGVs, and VNG to fuel them...

Randy Marion for the General Motors NGVs, and VNG to fuel them…

“With no cost to fleets for the infrastructure, the cost-saving benefits of CNG drop right to the bottom line,” said VNG COO Robert Friedman.

VNG is opening its first station, hosted at a BP gasoline retail outlet, in Philadelphia this month (F&F, June 20).

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Source: with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Millions for Motiv from Magness

July 1, 2014 in Electric Drive, EVs, investments by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Battery Trucks Developer Raises $7.3 Million for Powertrain Production

Foster City, Calif.-based Motiv Power Systems said Monday that it’s raised $7.3 million in growth capital from investors led by Colorado’s Magness Investment Group. Motiv offers its ePCS – for electric Powertrain Control System – as a unique product suite “that can electrify any truck or bus chassis with a variety of commercially-available battery packs and motors.”

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