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All posts in Fleets

Source: Environmental

Peake Fuel Solutions LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, has announced the development of a diesel natural gas conversion kit that could cut heavy-duty truck operators fuel costs by 30 percent.

Diesel natural gas allows trucks to run on a mixture of diesel and up to 70 percent natural gas. When compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas fuels are not available, trucks retain the ability to run on 100 percent diesel.

Long-term natural gas prices in the $4-6 per mcf range will translate into CNG and LNG prices of around $2.00 per diesel gallon equivalent, or about 50 percent lower than diesel prices, Peake says. Assuming a typical DNG blend, truckers would save about $0.20 per mile on their fuel costs. The return on investment for a DNG conversion kit is typically less than 18 month, Peake estimates.
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Source: Environmental

The Drive Natural Gas Initiative, a collaboration between utilities and producers, has launched a calculator to help fleet owners analyze the cost of converting vehicles to natural gas.

The Natural Gas Fleet Savings Calculator, which was developed for the American Gas Association by product innovation consulting firm Ricardo, is a spreadsheet-based tool designed to evaluate the total cost of ownership. The calculator includes the cost of financing terms and state incentives.

Fleet owners can determine how much trucking fleets would save by converting from diesel-fuel vehicles to natural gas. The tool also allows users to compare the cost savings of switching from gasoline to natural gas.
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Source: Fuel

A natural gas advocacy group has developed a detailed formula to calculate how much trucking fleets would save by converting from diesel-fueled vehicles to natural gas vehicles.

The tool marks the latest effort by the Drive Natural Gas Initiative to move the country away from crude-based transportation fuels, touting compressed natural gas as a cleaner and cheaper alternative.

Using specific fleet characteristics like vehicle cost, miles driven, and maintenance charges, the calculator determines a company’s total cost of operating natural gas vehicles. It also calculates how quickly the lower natural gas fuel cost makes up for the higher vehicle price.

“With the opening of shale gas plays, there’s this new abundance of domestic gas and the price for North American natural gas is significantly lower on an energy basis than petroleum,” said Executive Director Kathryn Clay. “We can see it at the pump today.”
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Source: Energy.Gov

WASHINGTON – As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced 20 new projects to help states and local governments cut red tape and develop the infrastructure, training and regional planning needed to help meet the demand for alternative fuel cars and trucks, including vehicles that run on natural gas, electricity and propane. These projects build on the important steps the Obama Administration has taken to expand the transportation options available for businesses and communities and improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles in the market today and for years to come.

“Building a clean and secure U.S. transportation system that leverages our domestic energy sources will give American families, businesses and communities more options and reduce fueling costs,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “At the same time, these projects will help lead the way to further reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and protecting our nation’s air and water.”

Through the Department’s Clean Cities initiative, these projects address a range of community infrastructure and training needs, such as providing safety and technical training for fleet operators, mechanics, first responders and code officials; streamlining permitting and procurement processes; and helping public and private fleets integrate petroleum reduction strategies into their operations.
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Source: Environmental

General Electric will purchase 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energie Plug-in hybrids for its fleet as part of a broader collaboration with the automaker.

The Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid provides a 21-mile electric-only range, a 108-mpg city EPA rating and a 620-mile single-tank driving range. GE will begin integrating the Ford C-Max Energi into its fleet this month.

In turn, Ford will market GE’s WattStation electric vehicle charging station and “CNG in a Box” natural gas fueling stations with its commercial customers.

The two companies will also collaborate with researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology on data collection and analysis of GE’s fleet, to improve efficiencies in electric driving and charging.
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Source: Environmental

Slated to be the heaviest electric trucks in the US, the 20 class-eight EV refuse trucks will weigh 52,000 lbs, with a range of 60 miles (200kWh)

FOSTER CITY, Calif., Nov. 19, 2012 /PR Newswire/ — Chicago city streets are set to be the first in the nation with all-electric, zero-emission garbage trucks thanks to the $13.4 million contract granted the San Francisco Bay Area startup Motiv Power Systems.  The scalability and flexibility of the Motiv electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) made the company the most cost-effective choice for the exclusive 5-year contract.  Currently the only technology of its kind in the trucking market, the ePCS uses off-the-shelf batteries and motors, which can be mixed and matched to fit the exact size of the electric truck needed.  The ePCS can handle EV trucks from medium-duty to Class 8 heavy-duty, weighing 15,000 lbs-52,000 lbs.  Research suggests the ePCS design approach cuts operating costs by 50 percent over an eight-year period.  With its medium-duty pilot shuttle, Motiv reduced operating cost from 80 cents per mile ($0.80/mi) to 10 cents per mile ($0.10/mi).
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Source: Energy Manager Today

Fleet managers and operators are searching for ways to combat rising fuel prices and meet government fuel economy regulations. The current corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards call for an average of about 29 miles per gallon, with a gradual increase leading to 35.5 mpg by 2016. With the new mandate, the government standards require automakers to almost double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025 – calling for an average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg.

With the demands of fleet managers and operators voiced, vehicle manufacturers are scrambling for a way to increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. There are many steps to take to increase fuel efficiency: start stop technology, recovering energy from shock absorbers and regenerative braking, but some provide a bigger bang for the buck than others. Micro hybrids, or vehicles using start stop technology, and recovering energy from shock absorbers improve the vehicles’ fuel efficiency by only about 2 to 3 percent. The clear leader is regenerative braking, which can improve fuel efficiency by a whopping 20 to 30 percent. Evaluating the primary energy storage solution for these initiatives is typically the best place for carmakers to start, as choosing the right energy storage technology will further increase the fuel efficiency gain and position the vehicle to be attractive to buyers. Vehicle manufacturers are concluding that using ultracapacitor technology, as opposed to batteries, is the best way to achieve this high fuel efficiency and offer vehicles that consumer want to buy. Here’s why.
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Source: New York Times, Energy & Environment

WASHINGTON — For years, scientists and engineers have been juggling various combinations of acids, steam, bacteria, catalysts and the digestive juices of microorganisms to convert agricultural waste and even household garbage into motor fuel.

The $130 million Ineos plant in Vero Beach, Fla., where wood and woody garbage will be broken down and converted into ethanol.

So far, such alternative fuels have not moved beyond small pilot plants, despite federal incentives to encourage companies to develop them.

But that could be about to change.
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Source: Flex

GE will collaborate with Clean Energy Fuels in its plan to provide liquefied natural gas as a fueling option at truck stops across the country, the companies announced Tuesday.

Clean Energy, which is backed by Texas investor T. Boone Pickens, said it would buy two MicroLNG plants from GE Oil & Gas, with each plant capable of producing 250,000 gallons of LNG per day.

The GE plants would be able to rapidly transform dry natural gas into LNG for efficient use in long-haul trucks and would support Clean Energy’s plan to add 150 LNG refueling stations at truck stops across the country by 2014 , the companies said.

LNG is more expensive than natural gas, but still far cheaper than diesel and can provide the same driving range and power as the conventional  trucking fuel, gas advocates say.

Truckers switching to LNG can cut their fuel costs more than 25 percent and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, the companies said.

The MicroLNG plants will be especially significant because they can  generate LNG at any point along a natural gas distribution network, the companies said. No specific site for the plants has yet been developed.

“With an abundance of cleaner, more affordable natural gas here in the U.S., this is an important opportunity for GE to join Clean Energy in changing the way America drives,” GE  Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement. “It’s also a critical step in developing a natural gas-for-transportation fuel model that can be easily exported to other countries interested in exactly these kinds of breakthrough projects.”

Booming production of natural gas from shale has made the resource especially cheap in the United States, making it an increasingly attractive option as a fuel and power resource. But the United States lags far behind other nations in its use of natural gas for transportation, with only one consumer car model available and few refueling stations.

Source: Environmental

Hertz and Liberty Tire Recycling have launched what they call the first nationwide tire recycling program in the U.S. car rental industry.

Hertz says the program also makes it the first to commit to zero landfill waste for tires.

Under the program, Hertz will use Liberty’s nationwide service to collect its used tires, more than 160,000 annually, which will be transformed into a range of products for playgrounds, public parks, highways and other applications.

The companies say that volume of tires could produce enough rubber mulch for 366 playgrounds, or could pave 20 miles of a four-lane highway with rubber-modified asphalt, which reduces urban heat island effects when compared to conventional asphalt. Rubberized asphalt also rides quieter, lasts longer, and uses significantly less paving material than traditional asphalt, Liberty says.

Liberty Tire Recycling describes itself as the largest tire recycling company in North America. Its recycled rubber feedstock produces a range of products including mat flooring and crumb rubber for composite railroad crossties.

Hertz’s sustainability efforts include offering a collection of alternative fuel and high-MPG vehicles, from electric vehicles to clean diesel, in its Green Traveler Collection lineup. The company’s car sharing service, Hertz On Demand, offers EV and hybrid options including the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt and Mitsubishi iMiev. Recently, Hertz also expanded its electric car rental program through a pilot initiative with Plugless Power, which allows EVs to charge without being plugged into an outlet.

In July Hertz completed a 229 kW solar system at its global headquarters building in Park Ridge, NJ, and announced plans to build 11 additional solar installations totaling 2.2 MW.