Fleet Owner discusses the advantages of propane autogas for fueling fleets. The post notes that propane autogas is best in fleet applications where there is a central refueling location. It has also become a popular fuel choice for school bus fleets. Until now propane has largely been used for light vehicles with natural gas powering heavier vehicles.  But now propane is beginning to move into the medium duty truck market.

Next Generation Transportation News looks into how US industrial freight carriers feel about liquified natural gas (LNG). A recent survey by PLS Logistics Services found there is “significant movement” toward the use of LNG in trucking operations in the US. The majority of fleet executives surveyed said they now believe that natural gas is a truly viable alternative to diesel and are looking at buying LNG powered trucks. However, the relative scarcity of LNG refueling infrastructure is still a hindrance to higher levels of natural gas vehicle adoption, along with the cost of natural gas engines and fuel systems relative to their diesel counterparts. You can read the survey here.

LNG refueling is going mobile in North America reports Next Generation Transportation News. Industry consultancy and research firm Zeus Development says recent survey findings suggest that up to 50 mobile liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling units will soon be in operation in North America serving trucking fleets and other heavy-duty industrial applications. Some concepts rely on transport trailers for on-site storage, while others integrate storage tanks into self-contained transportable units. The most rapidly growing market for mobile fueling is from oil and gas exploration and production companies which require the fuel to produce electricity for drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations. Demand from long distance trucking operations is also growing quickly.

Energy Global tells us delivery company United Parcel Service (UPS) has signed a natural gas supply contract for its fleet operations in the US cities of Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee. The 10-year contract calls for Pivotal LNG to provide UPS with an average of 500,000 gallons of LNG per month for its fueling stations, which UPS will own and operate. UPS is replacing its diesel vehicles in the area with less costly LNG.

Market Watch tells us natural gas vehicles (NGVs) will reach 7.5 million in the world’s 7 largest auto markets by 2020. A report from Lux Research said the main drivers behind NGV growth are fuel price differentials, payback period for premium-priced NGVs, and availability of fueling infrastructure. The seven key auto markets (U.S., Europe, China, India, Brazil, Russia, and Japan) account for 75% of vehicles on the road today. Despite the fact that natural gas sells at a discount to petrol, auto buyers are reluctant to convert to NGVs owing to user resistance to new vehicles and entrenched driving and fueling habits.

“Cheap natural gas is disrupting the electricity, chemical, and heating industries, but the impact on the transportation market has been minimal,” said Andrew Soare, Lux Research Senior Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Shale Takes on Automotive: The Future of Natural Gas Vehicles.” “Technical and economic challenges mean that’s likely to remain true – even if fuel splits widen.”

The US state of Indiana has passed legislation that creates a tax credit for the deployment of heavy-duty natural gas vehicles (NGVs) that exceed 33,000 lbs reports Next Generation Transportation News. The tax covers up to 50% of the incremental cost of a heavy-duty NGV that runs on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). The credit is capped at $15,000, and fleet operators and individuals can access up to $150,000 in credits per taxable year, from 2014 to 2016. The legislation also encourages state fleets to buy NGVs, propane autogas vehicles and other alt-fuel vehicles.

Russian automotive manufacturer GAZ Group has developed a CNG powered version of it’s medium-sized intercity bus model KAVZ-4238 we learn from NGV Global News. The 10 metre bus with a range of 400 km is designed for suburban and long-distance routes in Russia.

30 CNG buses hit the streets of the US state of Ohio this week reports Fox28. The CNG buses are expected to save the Central Ohio Transit Authority $21,000 a year in fuel costs over the replaced diesel buses.  Over the next 12 years the Authority expects to replace all of its 300 plus diesel buses with CNG.

Natural Gas Vehicles Texas Inc. is building large truck transport carriers that run on CNG and diesel says Dallas Business Journal. The truck runs on compressed natural gas and diesel at the same time. The fuels are mixed at the intake valve. This makes the truck distinctly different than a bi-fuel vehicle that runs on either natural gas or diesel-gasoline.

Platts notes that the US state of Texas has the most planned NGV fueling stations. The number of stations in the state able to supply natural gas motor fuel — LNG, CNG, or both — is expected to double from about 60 currently, to 122 over the next six to 18 months.


Some NGV facts

Richard Kolodziej, president of NGVAmerica, cited a recent study by PIRA Consulting that found that by the year 2030 as much as 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could be used in vehicles annually in the US. “That’s about a 25% increase in demand,” he said. Another study by the National Petroleum Council found that by 2050, “NGVs would capture 50% of the light- and heavy-duty truck market and 35% of the medium-duty market in the US,” Kolodziej said.

David Hurst, an analyst at Navigant Research in Troy, New York, said he expects the market for natural gas-fueled vehicles to grow substantially, albeit from a very small starting point. “Based on our estimates, we saw about 20,400 NGVs sold in 2012. That’s going to grow to about 40,000 vehicles in 2019.”






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