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Conversion Firm Packages Super Long-Haul Truck Fueling

Trying to write a new definition for long-haul capability, a California-based alternative fuel conversion specialist has put together a compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system package that would provide a range of 700-900 miles for a modified Peterbilt 348 truck.

A-1 Alternative Fuel Systems told the Fleets & Fuels newsletter it has developed a 210-diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) CNG fuel cylinder assembly on a truck powered by an 8.9-liter ISL G Cummins Westport engine that it fitted with dual regulators. The 210-DGE fueling system will power a second engine that is to be installed on the truck's body.

A-1 is making the modifications for a Missouri-based wastewater pipeline rehabilitation company.

The configuration includes eight 21- by 80-inch, neck-mounted Type IV CNG tanks using an enclosure of high-strength, ultra-light aluminum covers with stainless steel bolts.

Another fueling system provider, Agility Fuel Systems, recently became the sole provider of natural gas vehicle (NGV) fueling systems to Freightliner Trucks, according to its parent company, Daimler Freightliner. Agility and Freightliner signed a seven-year agreement.

Santa Ana, CA-based Agility, a specialist in designing NGV fueling systems for heavy duty vehicles, provides systems for both CNG and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles. Under the deal, Agility will provide custom designed products with the latest features and innovations to Freightliner.

Agility recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Salisbury, NC, near Freightliner's manufacturing plants in Cleveland and Mt. Holly, NC. The Agility facility is touted as the NGV sector's first vertically integrated NGV fuel system production facility.

Agility began collaborating with Freightliner in 2002, and in 2009 it began the first on-the-line factory installation of the NGV fuel systems. Freightliner has more than 6,000 NGV trucks on the road.

Colorado’s Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) opened a $14.5 million program for alternative fuel vehicle rebates, Alt Fuels Colorado, noting that applications for rebates of up to $35,000/vehicle are due by July 7. RACQ will pay up to 80% of a vehicle's cost, or a ceiling of $35,000, covering both public- and private-sector fleets.

The agency said it has $9 million in funding for heavy duty vehicles in public fleets and $5.5 million for private sector ones. The program is available to alternative fuel vehicle operators in 11 counties (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, along with parts of Larimer, Weld, El Paso and Teller counties). NGVs are eligible, as are propane, electric and CNG-gasoline bi-fuel vehicles.

Seperately, unit of Royal Dutch Shell announced this month that it has opened LNG fueling lanes at TravelCenters of America facilities in Dallas and San Antonio. At the same time, Shell announced that LNG provider Stabilis Energy has become a customer of its LNG unit.

Shell's Elen Phillips, fuels/marketing vice president, said the Texas NGV fueling stations are located to support interstate highway networks in the region.

In British Columbia, CNG fueling received a boost when Canadian-based Emterra Environmental announced that it is investing $5.25 million to establish a CNG fueling infrastructure in Chilliwack, where it is launching a fleet of CNG waste and recycling collection trucks. Emterra operates a fleet of about a dozen Peterbilt trucks out of Chilliwack, and it intends to add more NGVs to its fleet.

Emterra CEO Emmie Leung said the company is "blazing a trail" for building its own CNG fueling stations because of the "economic and environmental benefits of it." Emterra has announced plans for other stations in Victoria, BC, Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario later this year in collaboration with Gain Clean Fuel.

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