The national trade group for the natural gas vehicle (NGV) sector, NGVAmerica, gave global package carrier Federal Express (FedEx) an achievement award earlier this month at the new FedEx compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility in Oklahoma City.
Drawing Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, an advocate for NGVs, and T. Boone Pickens, the co-founder of Clean Energy Fuels Corp., which built the new fueling facility, Clean Energy used the occasion to promote Redeem, its brand of renewable natural gas (RNG), or biogas.
Clean Energy CEO Andrew Littlefair and NGVAmerica President Matt Godlewski also attended the ceremonies at the FedEx Freight Oklahoma City Service Center, a four-lane, fast-fill facility that supports 100 FedEx trucks operating in the region. Littlefair outlined his plans to provide Redeem as the main fuel pumped at the station.
"FedEx Freight is a great example of clean transportation leadership when it comes to reducing emissions through the use of more natural gas," Godlewski said. "As one of the largest logistics companies in the world, FedEx does its homework when charting a new course, and their decision to open up a major CNG fueling center was no different," Littlefair said.
The FedEx station offers six 300 hp compressors able to pump nearly 2.5 million gasoline gallon equivalents annually. Eventually, the facility will be able to support up to 175 FedEx NGV vehicles.
More use of RNG is on tap in San Diego, where the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has brought in more CNG buses for San Diego County's east area with the opening of a bus operations and maintenance center in El Cajon.
The fueling site was originally developed by Trillium CNG, and it will support 120 CNG buses as a permanent Love's-Trillion CNG station that will be installed in the next four to five months. Some 543 CNG-fueled vehicles out of a fixed-route total of 613 are operated on CNG.
"We are the first transit agency in California to use biogas," said MTS's Mark Olson, adding that the RNG comes from a unit of BP plc. He also said the transit system has repowered six Gillig buses with new super-low-NOx ISL G near-zero emission engines from Cummins Westport.
"The engines have performed exceptionally well over the first 40,000 miles," Olson said. MTS plans to use the engines as a means to reach the 0.02 NOx level required for the transit system to operate in California.
Two other public transit operators, San Antonio's Via Metropolitan Transit and Houston's Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority, have obtained 425 and 100 CNG Volvo Nova buses, respectively. Via is getting all 40-foot buses while the Houston Metro is getting 80 straight buses and 20 Artic articulated vehicles.
Volvo described the 425 Nova buses going to San Antonio as the "greenest ever," complete with some of the latest technology, such as GPS, passenger counting and camera systems, and public information video screens. Volvo is touting the Nova buses as defining a new generation in CNG vehicles with substantial fuel savings.
Earlier this year, the San Antonio transit system announced plans to construct a seven-compressor Love's-Trillium CNG fueling station billed as the largest such dispensing facility in the nation. Deliveries to Via begin in November, and those to Houston Metro have already begun.
The nation's second-largest refuse truck fleet operator, Republic Services Inc., has announced that it plans to buy about 250 CNG trucks next year, adding to a fleet that is now about 20% NGV loaded with about 2,500 CNG vehicles out of a 12,000-route truck fleet.
Republic's vice president for maintenance and digital operations, Darrell Reno, told Fleets & Fuels newsletter that Republic plans to operate 40-50% of its fleet on natural gas. Roughly 70% of the trucks in Republic's fleet are for residential service routes.
Using Clean Energy Fuels principally, Republic said it operates 38 refueling stations, and the company is affiliated with 70 landfills and other RNG sources. It currently operates up to 800 heavy-duty CNG trucks that are using the RNG version of the fuel.