And Makes a Splash with ANGA with Buses for the Conventions
Virginia-based Ultimate CNG is promoting a new mobile fueler as a way to wear down the market barriers for natural gas vehicles in the U.S. – and is making a name for itself by partnering with America’s Natural Gas Alliance to provide CNG buses for this week’s Republican and early September’s Democratic National Conventions.
Ultimate’s FuelMule – built on a dedicated-CNG Freightliner chassis – features an ANGI compressor and enough Type III Dynetek cylinders (in an Agility Fuel Systems package) to hold 700 diesel gallon equivalents of compressed natural gas. It has two dispensers that can furnish four DGEs per minute simultaneously with separate electronic metering.
“This is fast-fill CNG coming to your door to service your entire fleet quickly and easily, with the ultimate savings of time and money,” Ultimate president Dennis Pick says in a company release. “FuelMule is the innovative answer to providing large scale, convenient and economical transportation.”
“Quite simply, no matter where you build a permanent CNG station, it’s in the wrong place for 90% of the potential vehicles,” says Pick’s partner, Ultimate COO Brian Fimian. “Fleets economically cannot, and therefore will not, drive more than a few miles out of their way to get their fuel.”
‘Puts the Deal Back on the Table’
“With diesel, most fleets want the cost-saving, hassle-free benefits of on-site fueling,” Fimian says. “They want the same thing when using CNG, but the capital investment of new fueling infrastructure can be a deal breaker.
“A truly mobile CNG fueling capability puts the deal back on the table.”
Ultimate is starting out by offering CNG fueling services at a set price per gallon, no capital cost to the vehicle operator, and no need for training. Later, the firm will offer FuelMule units for lease and sale.
To prove durability and hone the design, “I want to maintain complete control of the FuelMule and beat the tar out of it,” Pick told F&F.
The first unit is being used to fuel the dozen CNG buses provided by ANGA for the Republican convention in Tampa. Fimian, the company says, drove the vehicle from ANGI’s facility in Wisconsin – without stopping for fuel.
“We drove 1,372 miles from Monroe to Tampa and did not have to stop once for fuel,” he said. “The FuelMule fueled itself, and it operated beautifully the entire way.”
Ultimate credits the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) for helping engineer FuelMule.
BAF Systems via GAS for the RNC
The 12 buses for the two national political conventions are Ford E-450 chassis, 23-passenger Champion-body units outfitted for dedicated CNG operation by Green Alternative Systems in Elkhart, Ind. GAS uses Clean Energy-BAF fuel systems and lightweight Type III cylinders from Luxfer.
Partners for the Ultimate-ANGA convention bus service include Teco Peoples Gas in Florida and Piedmont Natural Gas in North Carolina. “As energy continues to be a key issue in this campaign, the benefits of using natural gas for transportation are truly bipartisan,” ANGA says. Florida, ANGA says is the second largest user of natural gas in the country, with 62% of the state’s electricity generation coming from natural gas. FNGVC, the Florida Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, was formed with 15 members just this summer (F&F, August 21).
Ultimate CNG owns the 12 vehicles and will be offering them for sale at the conclusion of the Democratic convention in Charlotte.
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