Omaha Utility Is Staunch NGV Proponent,
Will Help BAF Prove Out New F-150 Model
Omaha’s Metropolitan Utilities District will help BAF prove out Ford F-150 pickups converted to compressed natural gas – in expectation that Ford will release a gaseous-prep 3.7-liter engine late next year for 2014 vehicles. (Ford has not yet announced the engine.)
Two dozen F-150 trucks will be converted for the District with BAF taking warranty responsibility. Like BAF’s other pickups, they will have chassis-mounted CNG tanks, freeing up the entire truck bed for operator use. Type III CNG tanks from Italy’s Faber Industrie will hold 18 GGE-gasoline gallon equivalents.
More Than 100 District NGVs
The 24 dedicated-CNG F-150s will join a District fleet of more than 100 natural gas vehicles, including 80 Ford E-350 utility vans (by BAF), dedicated-CNG Honda Civic sedans, and seven high-use Freightliners.
The District has ordered three new 4×4 F-250 pickups too – one of which is the 20,000th NGV produced by BAF. District president Dog Clark – the new NGVAmerica chairman – took delivery in Dallas this past Thursday as BAF celebrated 20 years in the business and the opening of its new, 90,000-square foot facility there.
One of the three BAF-converted, dedicated-CNG F-250s will go to the Metropolitan Community College, another Omaha-area NGV pioneer. Thus the District is in the process of ordering a fourth.
To celebrate Earth Day on April 22, the District and partner Happy Cab offered CNG for just 99.9¢ per GGE. Two public access stations in Omaha have ANGI compression units with Gilbarco dispensers and TK-17 pistol-grip nozzles for the benefit of consumers. They were opened in mid-2011.
Omaha’s Happy Cab operates one of the two Omaha stations and converts Chevrolet Impala sedans to CNG at the facility using kits from Impco Automotive (formerly NaturalDrive; F&F, Oct. 25, 2010).
Happy Cab has 30 Impala CNG taxis now and by the end of June will have more than 50, says operations manager John Davis.
A new customer will be Nebraska’s Douglas County, which – at the District’s urging – has budgeted $60,000 for two natural gas fleet vehicles for the 2012/2013 fiscal year. If the two-vehicle pilot project is successful, the county may buy additional vehicles and set up CNG fueling at a county garage.
The District says that local fleet vehicles consumed more than 72,000 gasoline gallon equivalents of CNG last year, saving more than $110,000. Projected use this year is 182,000 GGE, saving $250,000.
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