All posts in Fleets


General Electric Co. (GE)’s commitment to buy 25,000 electric autos, promoted as the largest ever when it was announced more than two years ago, is taking a detour.

The obstacle: Customers of GE’s corporate fleet-services unit wanted more options, said Deb Frodl, the division’s chief strategy officer. So GE has included natural gas-powered pickups and propane-fueled vehicles among about 11,000 autos — mostly plug-in hybrids and electric cars — already acquired from makers including Ford Motor Co. (F) and General Motors Co. (GM)

The shift at GE, whose 2010 pledge was hailed as a catalyst for bulk buying of electric vehicles, shows how businesses are struggling to balance greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions against higher sticker prices, limited range and lingering doubts about still-infant technology.
Read more

Source: Environmental

Fuel Efficient Internal Combustion Engine market report contains comprehensive data on the worldwide market for efficient ICE technologies (engine deactivation, cylinder deactivation, variable valve timing and lift, turbochargers and superchargers, direct fuel injection, homogeneous charge compression ignition, reduced displacement engines, hybrids and partial hybrids, split cycle engines, and opposed piston/opposed cylinder engine designs. Market data are provided for historic (2006 to 2011 Q3) and forecast (2011 Q4 to 2021) market size data in terms of the dollar value of product shipments. The report identifies key trends affecting the marketplace, along with trends driving growth, and central challenges to further market development. The report also profiles leading startups and established manufacturers of fuel efficient ICEs that are most relevant to the fuel efficient ICE industry.

Internal combustion engines (ICEs) power our cars, trucks, big rigs, trains, generator sets, ships, and a host of other applications worldwide. Unfortunately, conventional ICEs boast low efficiency – most convert only 30% of fuel into usable work, and that is under optimal conditions. When accounting for idling and sub-optimal speeds, efficiency drops to 15 to 20%. That means, for every gallon of fuel placed into the engine, only 15 to 20% of the energy in that fuel is ever transferred into usable mechanical energy under typical conditions. The remaining 80 to 85% of energy contained in the fuel is wasted – wasted on friction, losses to heat, incomplete burning, and other inefficiencies characteristic of conventional ICEs.
Read more

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are releasing the 2013 Fuel Economy Guide, giving consumers clear and easy-to-read information to help them choose the most fuel efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles that meet their needs. The 2013 models include efficient and low-emission vehicles in a variety of classes and sizes, but notable this year is the growing availability of hybrids and the increasing number of electric vehicles.

“This Administration has been working to foster a new generation of clean, fuel-efficient American vehicles, and part of that effort is ensuring that Americans have access to the best possible fuel economy information when they’re choosing a car,” said Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “The 2013 Fuel Economy Guide provides Americans information about which car on the lot offers the greatest fuel economy and the lowest environmental impact. These are important considerations that can help families save money while protecting their health and the environment.”

“The Fuel Economy Guide gives consumers easily accessible information to help them choose the vehicle that’s right for them,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Fuel efficient vehicles help American families save money at the pump, continue to deliver on vehicle performance, and help reduce our dependence on foreign oil while limiting carbon pollution.”

This year’s guide gives consumers a broad range of information that they can use to select their next fuel efficient vehicle, whether they want to consider an electric vehicle or one that uses a more conventional fuel. This year, for the first time, EPA and DOE have added a second top ten list of most efficient vehicles — separating advanced technology vehicles from conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles. Electric and plug-in hybrid electric models are the most fuel-efficient and lowest-emission vehicles available today and are becoming more common. At the same time, consumers may still look up the conventional gasoline and diesel models that offer superior fuel efficiency.

The 2013 guide provides an estimated annual fuel cost for each vehicle. The estimate is calculated based on the vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg) rating and national estimates for annual mileage and fuel prices. The online version of the guide allows consumers to enter their local gasoline prices and typical driving habits to receive a personalized fuel cost estimate. The 2013 guide also includes a greenhouse gas rating for each model.

Consumers may view the guide at and it will be available in hard copy at dealer showrooms. EPA and DOE will update the guide online as more 2013 vehicles become available.

All 2013 model year vehicles will display a new fuel economy and environment label to provide consumers with more comprehensive fuel efficiency information, including five-year fuel costs or savings compared to the average new vehicle, as well as new ratings for greenhouse gas and smog. These labels are required for model year 2013, but some automakers voluntarily adopted the new label design on some 2012 models.

More information, including a complete version of the guide and details on the fuel economy labels: and at for mobile devices.

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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.”
Read more

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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.