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More U.S. CNG Milestones Passed

AT&T passed a milestone Wednesday with the delivery of the 8,000th compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle for its fleet operations at a public fueling station at the St. Louis Lambert Airport.

AT&T Missouri President John Sondag said the company plans to have 15,000 clean fuel transportation vehicles in its fleet by 2018. Peter Stansky, president of the Spire fueling station company at the airport, said AT&T and other major fleet operators using CNG will accelerate the public acceptance of natural gas vehicles (NGV).

Spire is in a great position to build out infrastructure as the demand for CNG grows, Stansky said. "There is going to be a real need for more infrastructure."

In 2009, AT&T committed to investing $350 million to purchase about 8,000 CNG vehicles over five years and about $215 million to begin replacing its passenger cars with alternative-fuel models.

Jerome Webber, AT&T vice president for global fleet and transportation management, said the communications company's alternative fuel fleet vehicles helped saved the purchase of 12.4 million gallons of gasoline as of the end of last year. "Operating a diverse fleet, which includes alternative fuel vehicles, supports AT&T's commitment to sustainability and exemplifies how we strive to business," Webber said.

With a slogan of "Full Speed Ahead," one of the nation's largest corporate fleet operators is now seeking ways to "reduce fuel costs and minimize environmental impact," Webber said.

Separately, at the ACT Expo earlier this month, U-Haul Rentals rolled out seven newly converted CNG trucks by a unit of Westport Innovations in Dallas and National Fleet Services of Ohio. They are both Ford qualified vehicle modifiers (QVM).

U-Haul said it also is operating 16 propane autogas-powered rental trucks. And at the big clean transportation fuels conference, Westport also introduced its California-certified Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Also at ACT, back-of-the-cab and side-rail CNG fuel cylinder arrays were demonstrated by South Carolina-based Mainstay Alternatives illustrating both fuel tank arrangements on Swift Transportation's Freightliner Cascadia trucks.

The back-of-cab arrays use five 21-inch Type IV all-composite fuel cylinders from Hexagon Lincoln. They were staggered to save space and allow 134 diesel gallon equivalents (DGE) of onboard CNG capacity. They are also available in 80 and 107 DGE arrangements.

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