Cumberland Farms-Gulf is deploying 34 liquefied natural gas-fueled trucks at three Gulf petroleum distribution yards in New England, Gulf finance and strategy VP Laura Scott said at last week’s alternative fuel conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission at Drexel University.
Eleven Peterbilt 386 trucks with 15-liter engines from Westport Innovations will be deployed in New Haven, Conn. and 11 at Providence, R.I., with 12 in Chelsea, Mass. (Boston).
The dealer is McDevitt Trucks (Tewksbury, Mass.).
Gulf has opted for 120-gallon tanks on the vehicles, which will ply round-trip routes of 300 miles or less.
The first trucks are expected to arrive late this month or early July.
LNG will be supplied via mobile fueling units by InoxCVA.
The price premium is approximately $65,000 per vehicle, and Gulf is also looking at maintenance shop retrofit costs that could range anywhere from $125,000 to $750,000 per facility. The mobile fuelers cost approximately $500,000 each. Fuel savings is expected to range from $1.25 to $2 per DGE-diesel gallon equivalent.
LNG constraint’s and roadblocks include the “absence of ready availability of LNG trucks to replace diesel fleets.” Scott also noted in her May 31 presentation at Drexel that there currently exists “no alternative fuel source for fleets in case of LNG fueling station downtime.”
Scott pointed out that there are approximately 1,000 LNG trucks in the united states now, as compared with a 2.2 million unit Class 8 diesel fleet with turnover of about 200,000 vehicles per year. She pgged the addressable market for LNG at about 50,000 trucks per year, and said it could grow to 70,000.
Cumberland Farms has nearly 600 stores in 11 states, and employs more than 6,000 people. In 1986, the firm bought all of Gulf Oil’s gasoline stations, and the trademark, in the Northeast, from Chevron. A nationwide expansion of the brand is continuing.
The Penn PUC meeting included representatives from Aqua America, Chesapeake Energy, Clean Cities, Clean Energy Fuels, EPRI, EQT, NGVAmerica, Nissan North America, Peco Energy and the Philadelphia International Airport.
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