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Westport, Volvo Adding Variety to NGV Offerings

There is more variety on the horizon for natural gas vehicles (NGV) based on recent announcements by Westport Innovations and Volvo in providing compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) products.

Westport has expanded its 2015 vehicle offering with two CNG options on Ford Transit Connect vans -- a dedicated CNG model, and a CNG/gasoline bi-fuel version on what Westport calls its WiNG upfits.

The airport servicing vans have a 2.5-liter gaseous prep Ford engine and meet Clean Port Act emission standards. Westport is touting the vans for fleets and small businesses.

For Volvo, both CNG and LNG models for VNL daycab tractors are being offered in the tractor-trailer segment.

Scranton, PA-based Kane Is Able, a national freight delivery operator, is expanding its fleet with seven CNG Volvo VNL tractors, sporting 11.9-liter ISX13 G engines by Cummins Westport.

Kane noted that advances in vehicle technology make feasible now the use of CNG-powered commercial trucks in long-haul businesses, including mountainous terrain. Each truck includes a range of about 425 miles, the fleet operator said. Delivery is expected in August and the CNG tractors will be deployed across Kane's 21 distribution centers nationally.

For the LNG version of the Volvo VNL models a compression ignition -- as opposed to spark ignition -- will be offered. Volvo Trucks will begin taking orders later this year for models that will be available next year.

Volvo and Westport have worked together on the development of the new D13-LNG, according to Volvo's Goran Nyberg, sales and marketing president. The LNG model should help in achieving a 95% displacement of diesel in the long-haul space, Nyberg said.

Volvo said horsepower will be up to 455 on the LNG models and it expects a 20% fuel efficiency gain in the new models.

In Detroit, TruStar Energy opened a sixth CNG fueling installation for Advanced Disposal, which has the municipal contract for trash collection. The new station will support 56 new CNG trash trucks for weekly collections.

The trash collect firm's procurement/technology vice president, Chad Mark said the deal with TruStar was the company's largest municipal contract startup to date. The new station will support 38 Peterbilt and 18 Mack trash trucks.

Advanced Disposal now will have 160 CNG vehicles in an overall fleet of about 3,100.

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