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Discounted RNG Offered as Incentive for California Fleets

To encourage the use of more natural gas vehicle (NGV) fleets, Clean Energy Fuels Corp. is offering a year of $1/gallon renewable natural gas (RNG) for trucks using some Cummins Westport (CWI) engines.

The company said it would provide its Redeem brand fuel to the first 250 qualifying trucks using CWI’s ISX12N engine purchased this year under a “Zero Now” campaign. The trucks would be able to fuel at a network of 23 Clean Energy stations throughout California.

"Heavy duty truck fleets are under pressure to meet stricter emissions standards and Clean Energy’s Zero Now solution does that today," a Clean Energy spokesperson said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board certified the CWI engines last year as meeting the state’s nitrogen oxide standard, which is 90% lower than the EPA standard.

Also in California, the NGV Coalition on Wednesday said it was backing two state legislative bills, including the Clean Truck Deployment Act, Assembly Bill (AB) 2061, which would increase weight limits for alternative fuel vehicles. It also backs AB 2506, which would allow fleets to use near-zero-emission NGVs to meet requirements for clean vehicle purchases.

The coalition said it still opposes AB 1745, which would ban registering all new non-zero-emission passenger cars by Jan. 1, 2040.

Coalition President Thomas Lawson said the group supports policies that "demonstrate the role that NGVs -- and all alternative-fuel technologies -- should play in cleaning up California’s air.”

The Sacramento-based coalition is also closely watching AB 2006 and AB 2008, “which support technology-inclusive approaches to clean transportation,” a spokesperson said. According to the coalition officials, the state Assembly and Senate also have filed spot bills, AB 3187 and Senate Bill 1440, which indicate an intention to vote out legislation this year establishing goals for procuring biomethane, or RNG.

In the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, inroads continue to be made in marine transport as evidenced by British Columbia’s Seaspan Shipyards unit Victoria Shipyards (VSL) being selected by TOTE Maritime Alaska to convert two vessels to operate with dual-fuel systems allowing the use of LNG.

The North Star, the first of the two 839-foot-long roll-on, roll-off cargo ships arrived at VSL in December to convert the diesel engines to dual fuel. Earlier this year, the North Star completed a 60-day visit to the shipyard, and the vessel returned to Alaska, marking the first voyage outfitted with two LNG tanks. Over the next four years, three more conversion periods would be required to finalize the transition.

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