February 28, 2014

Go with Natural Gas Event Takes the Stage in BC

Surrey BC’s “Go with Natural Gas Outreach Hub” event on February 26 featured a lively discussion on natural gas vehicles (NGVs), with topics such as product options, fuelling station options, garage modifications, incentives, and a fleet case study of Cold Star Freight of Vancouver Island.

Approximately 60 people from industry, fleets, and government attended. Angus Taylor, Senior Manager of Transportation and Renewable Energy at C3 based in Calgary, hosted the event. Go with Natural Gas events have taken place across Canada to educate and promote the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) in transportation.

The workshop gave a broad scope of information on adopting natural gas for transportation with speakers such as Jeff Campbell of Cummins Westport Inc. who spoke about product options for natural gas engines and available configurations.

Steve Steinebach, VP Business Development at IMW Industries, Ltd., a Clean Energy company, gave an overview of fuelling station options and infrastructure development trends.

Langley BC company Jenmar Concepts led a discussion on garage modifications for CNG readiness. All the necessary standards, equipment and considerations required to upfit a garage gave the audience the quick overview to help in decision-making.

Georgina Wheatcroft speaks about incentives for natural gas.

February 21, 2014

Making History in Georgia with CNG

The City of Covington, Georgia made history this week, opening up the State’s first publicly accessible compressed natural gas (CNG) station.

The $1.6 million US station was constructed by American Fueling Systems, and is owned by the City.

The idea first came about in 2008, and really starting gaining momentum about three years ago, says City Councillor Chris Smith. Chris, along with the Financial Coordinator, Randy Conner, were two main driving forces at the municipality behind getting the project realized.

February 17, 2014

2014 India Auto Expo - Westport and Tata Motors Feature Alternative Fuel Engines

At the 2014 India Auto Expo this past week in Greater Noida City (near New Delhi), Westport was a featured partner in Tata’s alternative fuel option display. The event showcases natural gas engine and technology, with about 75,000 visitors attending each day of the five day long show from February 7 - 11.

In addition to Tata, many of India’s major original vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) participated in the Expo, including Mahindra, Scania, and Eicher.

February 13, 2014

130 Million Miles and More on Westport™ HPDI

130 million miles and counting. That’s how far the Westport 15L engine with first generation high pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology has carried payloads since first hitting the road with commercial customers.

The big orange engine has carved out a piece of history as the first heavy haul engine in North America to successfully operate on natural gas. Its accumulated mileage to date is the equivalent distance of travelling from earth to the moon 544 times, or around the equator over 5,000 times – no short trip.

February 6, 2014

CNG Gives AAA Oklahoma a Boost

It’s not uncommon to see one of AAA Oklahoma’s compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered Ford F-250s servicing a gasoline or diesel-powered car or truck on the streets of Tulsa and Oklahoma City. That’s because almost half of the association’s fleet of 56 vehicles runs on natural gas.
AAA Oklahoma has a fleet of  23 natural gas vehicles, including this CNG-powered Westport WiNG Ford F-650.
Fleet Manager Dana Storey says the association saves around $400,000 annually on fuel by using natural gas vehicles.
Dana Storey, AAA Oklahoma’s fleet manager, says the association started converting its fleet to natural gas in 2011, and over the past two years has purchased or converted a total of 23 natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Ten of the fleet’s vehicles are bi-fuel Ford F-250s featuring the Westport WiNG™ Power System with service bodies, operating on CNG and gasoline, and twelve are dedicated Westport WiNG™ Ford F-650s operating solely on CNG.

February 3, 2014

State of the Union Addresses Natural Gas Vehicles

The natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry was in the spotlight last week, making headlines after U.S. President Barak Obama’s remarks in his annual State of the Union address in support of switching more cars and trucks from oil to natural gas:

natural gas – if extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change...I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas.

In addition, three bills were proposed last week by U.S. Representatives Lee Terry and Sam Graves, both Republican Congressmen, geared at increasing the number of natural gas trucks. The bills propose multiple measures to increase the adoption rate of natural gas including: designated natural gas fueling corridors for long haul traffic, truck weight exemptions for the additional weight of natural gas tanks, and a task force to evaluate duel adoption transition barriers.

While these bills have to go through multiple stages before they can be voted on in Congress, Paul Kerkhoven, Director, Government Relations of NGVAmerica, says the initiatives may end up being incorporated into more comprehensive legislation, such as the Highway Bill.

“Anytime the President says natural gas three times, it’s a good thing for the industry,” Paul says. “These developments indicate a heightened interest in increasing the discussion at the national level around how to encourage a switch from gasoline or diesel, to natural gas.”

Paul adds both Congressmen Terry and Graves are strong NGV supporters and his organization is working with them to further their ideas and efforts towards the increasing use of NGVs.

Some industry supporters are eager for immediate action. T. Boone Pickens, Founder of BP Capital and the Pickens Fuel Corp. – the predecessor company to Clean Energy – told Pickens Plan Facebook page followers that the President should “Sign an executive order mandating government vehicles use natural gas, and that those who contract with the federal government for goods and services do, too.”

Paul says national-level attention puts the cause in the spotlight:

“The industry has done a good job of education and increasing awareness. People are concentrating on it and looking at it – it’s always a good thing.”