Agility Uses Hexagon Tanks on Initial 179 Peterbilt 579s,
They’re to Be Fueled at New TruStar Installation in Detroit
Said to Be the Largest Private CNG Station in North America
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is trumpeting a $40 million investment in 179 Detroit-based parts-haulers for FCA Transport, fueled by compressed natural gas. The tandem axle day cab Peterbilt 579 tractors have Hexagon Lincoln CNG cylinders in back-of-cab Agility Fuel Systems assemblies holding 160 diesel gallon equivalents of natural gas affording a single-fill range of more than 600 miles. updated with additional executive photo on December 7
“The move gives FCA the largest private fleet of CNG-powered heavy-duty vehicles in the state of Michigan,” the automaker says.
TruStar Energy has built a fueling facility fed by six 300-horsepower compressors providing 40 gasoline gallon equivalents per minute.
The trucks were supplied by Reefer Peterbilt of Auburn Hills and Romulus, Mich.
“This project was a win-win-win – it offered a solid business case, clear environmental benefits and an opportunity to invest in our Detroit facility and workforce,” FCA North America supply chain management senior VP Steve Beahm says in the manufacturer’s release.
All of the FCA Transport parts trucks operating out of the Detroit are now CNG-fueled. The company is considering CNG trucks for its terminals in Windsor, Ont. and Toledo, Ohio.
“Our transition to CNG reflects the way FCA U.S. attempts to balance our search for profitability with social responsibility and community development, including environmental stewardship,” Beahm said.
$5 Million TruStar Station, $1.8 Million Maintenance Upgrade
FCA Transport spent $1.8 million to enable its 36,000-square-foot maintenance facility, on Lynch Road across from the Detroit City Airport, to handle the new CNG-powered trucks.
“The $5 million on-site CNG fueling station, designed and built by TruStar Energy, is the largest private CNG station in North America,” FCA says.
Prior to the changeover, the FCA Transport Detroit fleet used nearly 2.6 million gallons of diesel fuel per year while driving about 16 million miles to deliver parts to assembly plants from suppliers and FCA U.S. component facilities.
35% Projected Fuel Cost Savings
Now, according to FCA and Agility, “The company expects to experience net fuel cost savings of about 35% per year with the CNG-powered fleet” (emphasis added).
Beyond cost savings, FCA Transport estimates that the Detroit fleet’s transition to CNG will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 16,000 tons per year. “This decrease is equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions that come from burning more than 17 million pounds of coal, or the reduction of CO2 emissions from the annual energy use of nearly 1,500 homes.”
‘Two Years of Research and Planning’
“Today is the culmination of two years of research and planning, an extensive pilot program of CNG trucks and ongoing training of more than 6,000 hours,” said Marty DiFiore, who heads FCA Transport and Auto Transport Services.
“FCA Transport’s transformation is a product of our dedicated, engaged workforce and close collaboration with the UAW,” DiFiore said.
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Source: FCA and Agility with Fleets & Fuels follow-up