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New Partnerships Emerge in NGV Manufacturing Sector

A global manufacturer/supplier of natural gas vehicle (NGV) engines and conversion kits for aftermarket diesel engines, NGV Motori, has formed partnerships with British Columbia-based Westport and Quebec-based Lion Bus.

Italian-founded NGV Motori's exclusive deal with Westport will allow the Alexandria, VA-based company to supply OEM-quality conversion kits and NGV engines with Westport's electronic management systems incorporated, a spokesperson said.

With Lion Bus, NGV Motori has an alliance to put the company's International DT 466 compressed natural gas (CNG) engines in the bus maker's Type-C school and other buses. The result will be an OEM Type-C bus with the NGV Motori engine.

The companies introduced the first of these buses at the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo earlier this month in Dallas, at which the partnership with Westport was also unveiled.

NGV Motori CEO Sunny DeWalkar said the partnership with Westport will allow the company to "support after-sales service and parts using the existing network that Westport already has established in North American markets." And the bus deal helps NGV Motori respond to customer requests for an OEM CNG school bus to complement the company's CNG conversion packages, according to Fury Zaidi, NGV Motori president.

In the NGV fueling equipment sector, Parker Hannifin has what the company is touting as a breakthrough fuel flow regulation device with its FM80 fuel regulation module. It uses a "robust piston design with best-in-class flow regulation," along with a high-flow shutoff valve and large high-flow filter.

Parker Hannifin officials claim their product is unlike most NGV fuel-handling systems because it has a metal (not rubber-like) piston-style regulator, coalescent filters, pressure sensors, a lock-off solenoid valve, heat exchangers, and a lower-pressure relief valve all in a compact body.

"The heat exchange technology offers stellar extreme weather performance while the FM80's anodized aluminum design isolates gas and coolant," according to the company promotion. This is all part of Parker Hannifin's XF70 fast-fill commercial and fleet CNG dispenser.

In the maintenance part of the business, California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. demonstrated its NGV Easy Bay maintenance facility product for NGV fleet operators at the ACT Expo. It allows operators to sequester a truck at existing facilities.

Introduced late last year, Clean Energy's product is a code-compliant fabric barrier system using an industrial curtain designed to be quick and cost-efficient in its installation and operation. The company promotes it as "the lowest cost separation and vapor containment system available."

Clean Energy also has purchased separate demonstration CNG and liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks -- the Peterbilt 579 with a 135-diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) back-of-cab  CNG cylinder array by Agility Fuel Systems, and a LNG-fueled Freightliner Cascadia, with twin rail-mounted fuel tanks by Chart Industries holding 156 DGEs.

Elsewhere, two CNG fueling equipment suppliers, Quantum Fuel Systems and U.S. Gain Clean Fuel, have established an alliance to package and market CNG trucks through existing dealerships at the same purchase price as diesel trucks.

The makers of fueling equipment and fueling stations, respectively, Quantum and Gain said the program will give fleet and truck operators the chance to defer paying any upfront capital costs for fleets to convert to CNG and provide them "immediate payback and ongoing savings" for up to five years. They, too, announced the new program at ACT Expo.

"We believe this opportunity to amortize the incremental cost of a CNG truck removes a challenging hurdle for fleets moving to CNG," Quantum CEO Brian Olson told Fleets & Fuels newsletter. U.S. Gain officials said it is "a first-of-its-kind" program.

In Texas, Penske Truck Leasing said it will use a $1.1 million grant from the state Commission on Environmental Quality through the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan to subsidize the purchase of CNG Freightliner Cascadia tractors. The trucks will be deployed in Penske's full-service truck leasing fleet in Houston and Dallas.

In addition, Penske was awarded $400,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. It is part of DOE's Alternative Fuel Vehicle Demonstration and Enhanced Driver Experience Project.

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