Two weeks ago we noted that 22 US states approached several US auto manufactures with a proposal to purchase natural gas vehicles for their fleets. The request was made to 19 automakers a week after the Governors of Oklahoma and Colorado met with auto executives in Detroit. Now Businessweek reports the auto companies went to Oklahoma City last week to meet with the states to discuss the details of such a purchase. Responses from auto manufacturers and dealers are due September 7th and purchasing officials expect to award a contract by October 5th. The contract includes the potential purchase of as many as 60 compact sedans, 850 mid- to full-size sedans, 400 half-ton trucks and 480 three-quarter ton trucks. Ford Motor Co., Chrysler, and General Motors Co. all produce CNG-powered three-quarter ton pickup trucks, and Honda Motor Co. has produced a CNG-powered Civic since 1998. Now the state officials are hoping their solicitation prompts manufacturers to consider producing even more CNG vehicles. See also NewsOK Auto dealers show interest in CNG vehicles for state fleets and hybridCARS Nearly Half of The US States Petition Automakers For CNG Fleet Vehicles.

The US state of West Virginia has put out a tender for natural gas vehicles. HuntingtonNews reports the state wants to purchase 10 NGVs as part of its 2013 vehicle purchasing plans.

The largest study of alternative fuel options for on-road transportation in the United States has concluded that natural gas is a promising fuel from both an economic and technology perspective. NGV News summarizes the study by the National Petroleum Council entitled Advancing Technology for America’s Transportation Future. Specifically for natural gas the report found:

Increased long-term low-cost supply of natural can drive the increased use this fuel for transportation

There is opportunity for natural gas vehicles to become attractive to both retail and fleet consumers

Few technological barriers exist for natural gas as a transportation fuel

natural gas engines can build on the internal combustion engine

ubiquitous natural gas infrastructure (eg refueling stations) is critical

For natural gas to succeed the study concluded there would have to be the enhancement of current infrastructure, the creation of natural gas corridors, and vehicles that can run on more than one fuel. You can access the study here.

Truckinginfo tells us the important things we need to know about natural gas as a transportation fuel.

The same source tells us the first ever Summit on Natural Gas in Trucking being held later this year will be open to the public. The summit, to be held in Arlington, Virginia at the end of November, will address all aspects of the use of natural gas in trucking from the engineering to make it possible to the growth of distribution infrastructure.

PBS has a video on what it looks like to pump natural gas into a UPS delivery truck It takes 5 minutes to fill up a UPS van with compressed natural gas.

OilVoice sees natural gas right now as the only fuel that can be used as a substitute for oil in transportation energy. You can read the detailed analysis (and assumptions)  to see how the author reaches this conclusion.

My Perfect Automobile finds that natural gas cars are already twice as common on American roads as are plug-in hybrids. Natural gas vehicles are becoming a favorite of states, cities and corporate fleets due to their low maintenance and fuel costs. Pike Research now says by the end of 2013, there will be almost 125,000 CNG vehicles on U.S. roads, compared to about 65,000 plug-in hybrids. There is a video of the Honda Civic natural gas car.

An Oklahoma construction company is converting its fleet to natural gas to save fuel costs reports Businessweek. Hammer Construction Inc. has converted 8 of its 55 light-duty pickups to run on CNG with plans to outfit 8 more with CNG tanks over the next few weeks. Hammer expects to be able to recoup its CNG investment — estimated to be about $5,000 per vehicle — in fuel savings after each one goes about 40,000 miles.

Green Car Reports wonders if natural-has cars will pull fueling stations with them. “The relationship between natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and natural gas stations is a ‘catch-22’ situation.” Without the vehicles, auto companies are reluctant to build natural gas stations, as the demand won’t be there. But without the stations, auto manufacturers see no reason to produce natural gas vehicles.

Yet from the following we do know that some companies are building their own natural gas stations and opening them to the public:

Nasdaq informs us Waste Management has expanded its US CNG fleet by 25. The company currently has 1,700 CNG vehicles is the largest owner and operator of clean-running, heavy duty refuse trucks in North America. Its goal is to develop the cleanest fleet of heavy-duty trucks in the industry. In addition, the company has opened the first public-access, 24-hour CNG fueling station in Louisville, Kentucky. The station will serve Waste Management’s local fleet as well as other corporate fleets and any other vehicles running on CNG.

Waste & Recycling News reports that Waste Pro USA Inc. opened its first CNG fueling station this week, located in Fort Pierce, Florida. The station is part of Waste Pro’s plan to transition its fleet of heavy trucks from diesel fuel to CNG. Other Florida CNG stations are to be constructed in Palm Coast,  Sanford, Fort Myers, Tampa Bay and Tallahassee. In Fort Pierce, the company will have 20 new MAC trucks equipped with CNG motors on the road in the next week or two, By the time the fleet is completed, there will be 50 to 70 CNG trucks.

Apache Corporation has opened up its first public CNG station. Stockhouse tells us the station is located in Lafayette, Louisiana.









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