Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lincoln Police Department to convert vehicle to run on natural gas

CNG Ford Fusion
The Lincoln, Nebraska, Police Department could save an estimated $2,000 a year in fuel and maintenance costs after converting a new fleet vehicle to run on clean-burning natural gas.

High-pressure-gas containment manufacturer Lincoln Composites and its partners in the project: Lincoln-based Eric's Electric, Fuel Conversion Solutions of Grain Valley, Missouri, and natural gas utility Black Hills Energy contributed the labor and materials to convert the vehicle.

Mayor Chris Beutler accepted the keys to the new NGV from Lincoln Composites president Jack Schimenti at an event to mark the occasion. The new Ford Fusion will be used for parking meter enforcement and was chosen because of its frequent stops and extended idling time.

Mayor Beutler thanked all those involved the public-private partnership. "Every mile our police parking enforcement officers drive this natural-gas powered car, the City and its taxpayers are saving money and reducing our carbon footprint. This project is helping us to speed up the greening of our fleet, and that is in the best interests of everyone. Each step we take toward greener transportation options is another chapter in the story of how our community is working together to creatively meet our future transportation needs."

Schimenti acknowledged the presence of NGV's from a number of businesses. "These natural gas vehicles are a testament to the rapidly growing interest among fleet owners to save substantial fuel and maintenance costs and reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil," he said, "In addition to fuel cost savings, costs for oil changes and other regularly scheduled maintenance will be reduced because natural gas burns cleaner than gasoline."

CNG Vehicles in Omaha

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saudi Arabia To Focus On Non-fossil Fuels

Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, one of Saudi Arabia’s top spokesmen, has confirmed that Saudi Arabia has plans to generate 100% of its power from renewable sources, and low carbon forms of energy.
Oil is more precious for us underground than as a fuel source. If we can get to the point where we can replace fossil fuels and use oil to produce other products that are useful, that would be very good for the world. I wish that may be in my lifetime, but I don't think it will be.

Meanwhile, in the United States, "production of oil is on pace to rise 7 percent this year to a daily average of 10.9 million barrels. The Energy Department forecasts that production will continue its rise and average 11.4 million barrels per day in 2013." The CIA predicts Saudi Arabia will produce 11.6 million barrels per day in 2013, followed by the U.S. with 10.9 million and Russia in third place with 10.3 million.

Bi-Fuel CNG Pickups From General Motors

2013 Chevrolet Silverado Bi-fuel
CNG Leasing is offering leasing of the 2013 Chevy Silverado & GMC Sierra HD CNG pickup. It is offered in Extended Cab with 2 or 4 Wheel Drive models.
One of the best ways to improve your fleet's bottom line is to lower your fuel costs. Which is why the addition of the 2013 bi-fuel Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD is such welcome news for fleet managers. Both feature a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) option, which provides reduced CO2 emissions over gasoline and diesel engines, while delivering full size truck utility.

The 2013 bi-fuel Silverado and Sierra 2500HD offer fueling flexibility, with a combined CNG and gasoline range of more than 650 miles4 — the longest range available in the bi-fuel truck market.

Each truck uses a Vortec 6.0-liter V8 engine that seamlessly transitions between CNG and gasoline. The CNG fuel delivery and storage system is covered under GM's limited warranty and is serviceable by Chevrolet and GMC dealers. Plus all components have GM service part numbers for broad availability, providing you with peace of mind that parts will be available to keep your vehicles on the road.

In addition to lower fuel costs, they offer an impressive array of options and configurations, including standard and long-box and two-or-four-wheel drive in the extended cab models.

When it comes to managing budgets and keeping an eye on the environment, business owners and fleet managers alike face many challenges. That's where GM's 2013 bi-fuel Silverado and Sierra come in. They're designed to help businesses reduce their fuel costs - and their environmental impact.

  • The bi-fuel Silverado/Sierra 2500HD Extended Cab uses a proven, 6.0L Vortec V8 with factory-installed hardened intake/exhaust valves and valve seats. These components are engineered to GM durability standards for gaseous fuel use
  • Bi-fuel option is available on long- or standard-bed models in both 2WD or 4WD
  • The fuel system automatically switches to gasoline when the CNG tank is empty, or you can manually switch between fuel sources while driving
  • The combined 17 Gas Gallon Equivalent (GGE) CNG tank and 36 gallon gasoline tank provide a range of more than 650 miles
  • The CNG system is designed to provide the safety and performance you would expect from any GM product
    • All high-pressure fuel lines are located between the frame rails
    • No splicing of wires
    • Weather-pack connectors
    • Full 10-year corrosion validation
  • The standard gasoline fuel gauge is located in the instrument cluster and the CNG gauge is incorporated into the CNG fuel mode switch in the center stack
  • Meets all of GM's rigorous standards for safety, reliability and durability
  • All major components will have GM service part numbers for broad availability, providing you with peace of mind that parts will be available to keep your vehicles on the road
  • Bi-fuel Silverado/Sierra has available factory OnStar5 including a Live Advisor for help when you need it
  • The bi-fuel Silverado/Sierra has a comprehensive 5-year/100,000-mile Transferable Powertrain Limited Warranty
  • Backed by the largest dealer network in the U.S.
  • The CNG fuel delivery and storage system is covered under GM's limited warranty and serviceable by Chevrolet and GMC dealers.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Iran Gets It

Iran has the second largest natural gas reserves in the world and is the world leader in natural gas vehicles. They've got 2.9 million natural gas vehicles on the road. Trailing behind Iran are Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil and India (in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th places respectively). America is in 16th place. Iran's ability to refine gasoline is limited and international sanctions have made it difficult to import gasoline.
The government began promoting natural gas about a decade ago, and not just in response to American-led sanctions. A big initial reason was the increasingly thick yellow blankets of smog that often engulf greater Tehran and its 12 million inhabitants

Gasoline in Iran is less than $1/gallon, but natural gas is even cheaper. However, waits to fill up at natural gas stations can be as long as two hours.

"Natural Gas: Smart Power, Smart Politics"

An opinion piece by Tom Amontree, Executive Vice President of America's Natural Gas Alliance.
It's no surprise that energy figures so prominently in national and local political conversations this election cycle. The desire for greater use of clean, affordable, domestic energy hits home for people and businesses across our nation. It is a new development, however, to see natural gas at the center of these conversations.

Four years ago, we were just beginning to understand the sheer magnitude of the American shale gas opportunity. In fact, my organization, America's Natural Gas Alliance, didn't even exist. Today, natural gas is transforming not just our energy choices as a nation, but the possibilities before us all to drive job creation and economic growth, advance U.S. energy security and make real strides today for cleaner air.

Natural gas enjoys rare support across the political spectrum. Both President Obama and Governor Romney have touted its many benefits. And again, in the first debate in Colorado each spoke about natural gas as offering opportunities for our nation. And, from members of Congress to governors and mayors, public leaders are pointing to responsible natural gas development as a key driver of economic recovery and the enhanced competitiveness of American workers and businesses.

Pragmatic leaders understand-and see in their on-the-ground experience with our industry-that with natural gas we don't have to choose between our economic and environmental priorities. Instead, responsible natural gas development is having very real and positive impacts in the 32 states that are home to this abundant domestic energy source.

The positive impacts start with jobs. According to IHS Global Insight, natural gas supports 2.8 million American jobs. And, shale gas alone is expected to add 1 million more jobs over the next two decades, both directly in the natural gas industry and in related fields, such as manufacturing, construction and chemicals. In fact, companies like Nucor, Dow Chemical, Formosa Plastics, and U.S. Steel are opening new plants or bringing operations back to the U.S. thanks to our nation's vast domestic supplies of affordable natural gas.

The more we put this domestic energy to use for power generation, transportation and industrial uses, the more economic benefits we reap right here at home. And all of us stand to gain. IHS has estimated that the average U.S. household will save $926 this year thanks to affordable natural gas, and those annual benefits will more than double by 2035.

Natural gas is an economic lifeline to communities in hard times. In 2010, shale gas production contributed $18.6 billion in federal, state and local government tax and federal royalty revenues. It is estimated that by 2035, these receipts will more than triple to just over $57 billion each year. That's money for schools, roads and other public services that build and sustain American communities.

We know natural gas is a cleaner fuel. In fact, a recent study by the environmental investor group CERES, found a nearly 70 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide and smog-forming nitrogen oxide over the past 20 years thanks to growing use of natural gas among the nation's top 100 utilities. Nearly half the reduction came in just a two-year period from 2008 to 2010. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has similarly noted that U.S. carbon emissions from the power sector are at 20-year lows due in part to the growing role of natural gas in a diverse U.S. energy portfolio.

When we talk about energy, we tend to talk about what can or should happen off in the future. Natural gas offers our nation an extraordinary opportunity to make a real difference today-for our economy, for our energy security and for our air. Regardless of your politics, that's one ticket we all should be able to vote for.

T. Boone Pickens

An interview of T. Boone Pickens by DC Velocity Senior Editor Mark B. Solomon about the Pickens Plan is available on the USGasVehicles.com website.
Do you have a realistic number for the size of the conversion potential?

Eight million trucks out of 250 million vehicles in America. Heavy-duty trucks use 20.000 to 30.000 gallons a year. That totals 3 million barrels a day. We import 4.4 million barrels a day of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) crude. So you can knock out 70 percent of OPEC oil by going to domestic natural gas for heavy-duty trucks.

You've said you support Mitt Romney's candidacy because he has a credible energy plan, whereas President Obama has had three and a half years to deliver one and has not. Have you discussed your conversion plan with Gov. Romney?

I've talked to Romney, and I've talked to Obama. Obama has talked about a 100-year supply of natural gas. But I haven't seen anything come out as a plan. I was in Denver in 2008 [for Obama's nomination acceptance speech] when he said that in 10 years, we wouldn't be importing oil from the Middle East. I've never heard him mention it again, and I've never seen a plan to accomplish this.

Twenty million barrels come through the Strait of Hormuz every day. Only 7 percent of that goes to the United States. But we have our military over there to protect that. According to a study by the Milken Institute, we spent $7 trillion from 1978 to 2010 on Mideast oil. A great part of that was military spending, but it's still connected to the price of oil.

In the last 10 years, we have transferred $1 trillion of wealth to OPEC oil producers. That's the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. If this continues for the next 10 years, assuming a price of $100 a barrel, it will cost $2.5 trillion. This is not sustainable.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Brand New Alternative Fuels Data Center

From the Fall 2012 issue of Clean Cites NOW.
The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is making it easier than ever to cut petroleum use, vehicle emissions, and operating costs. The U.S. Department of Energy's online transportation clearinghouse underwent a substantial redesign that debuted in July, providing an enhanced online experience for those involved in the deployment of alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and fuel economy improvements.

Originally developed in response to the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched the AFDC in 1991 as a repository for alternative fuel vehicle performance data. Since that time, the site has evolved to become an indispensible resource for fleets, fuel providers, policymakers, Clean Cities coalitions, and others working to reduce petroleum use in transportation.

The site receives more than 1.3 million visits per year. Even the most trusted institutions must move with the times, though, and the AFDC is no exception.

"We wanted to take everything that people find so useful about the AFDC and deliver it in new ways that take advantage of all the capabilities and technological innovations the Web has to offer today," said AFDC manager Trish Cozart of NREL.

The redesign process began with extensive research into the needs of fleet managers, who serve on the front lines of alternative fuels deployment. Through focus groups, usability tests, and interviews, Cozart and her colleagues developed an architecture for the site that would allow users to find the information they need most quickly and easily. Researchers and deployment experts conducted thorough updates to the site's existing technical content, and software developers revamped existing tools and developed new ones.

"The new AFDC represents a year's worth of thoughtful planning, creativity, and innovation by dozens of members of the Clean Cities and AFDC teams, and I am confident it will prove to be an even more valuable resource to the thousands of transportation decision makers who turn to it for assistance in their efforts to reduce petroleum use," National Clean Cities Director Dennis Smith said.
"This site makes it so simple for me to find exactly what I need. I can easily pull up fuel use statistics and pricing, look at vehicle deployment trends, and download charts into my presentations."
Kellie Walsh, Coordinator,
Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition
A brand new feature on the AFDC is a large collection of case studies in alternative transportation deployment, in both written and video formats (www.afdc.energy.gov/case).

"These stories serve as road maps for fleets and drivers, so they can learn how others overcame barriers and found success," Cozart said. "Users can find real-life examples of fleets that run on biodiesel, cities that have developed electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and school districts that power their buses with propane."
This homepage feature introduces new users to the strategies, fuels, and technologies they can use to reduce petroleum use. It also points to key tools and information throughout the AFDC. Check it out at www.afdc.energy.gov/feature_ten.html.
Responsive Web Design: The new AFDC is viewable not only from a personal computer, but also on all manner of devices and browsers, including tablets, e-readers, and smart phones. The site automatically adjusts to the device you're using.
The Alternative Fueling Station Locator (www.afdc.energy.gov/stations) has always been one of the AFDC's most popular tools. Now even easier to use, this application allows drivers and fleet managers to find stations that offer electric vehicle charging, E85, biodiesel, natural gas, propane, and hydrogen. Users can sort by fuel, find all stations near a given location, and map routes with stations identified along the way. The tool also provides station counts for individual states and the nation as a whole.

"The Station Locator makes it a breeze for EV drivers who are looking for charging stations, or for fleet drivers who need to fill up with an alternative fuel like natural gas," said software engineer Witt Sparks of NREL. "This tool, and the AFDC as whole, functions as a massive information hub, enabling thousands of players and parts of the transportation system to interact with one another."

CALSTART Newsnotes - 10/18/2012

CALSTART Newsnotes of October 18, 2012.
There’s a lot of buzz about battery maker A123 Systems bankruptcy filing. Today the company is off to court seeking permission to remain in operation, pay employees, take care of key bills and taxes, and accept $72.5 million debtor in possession financing from Johnson Controls. Ni Pin is President of Wanxiang U.S. Operations, which is the company that previously bailed out the EV battery maker. The company is still interested in taking over A123 (and the business assets that A123 wants to sell to Johnson Controls are separate from what Wanxiang is targeting). Said Pin, “Bankruptcy court is like a filter that lets a dirty big boy covered with mud go through it and turn himself into a clean boy.” Hmm.

The chattersphere is rife with prognostications about the demise of the electric car. Thank you John Voelcker for No, The Electric Car Is Not a Failure, in the Christian Science Monitor. John’s responding to a U.S. News and World Report piece by John Lynch, a self-described researcher for the petroleum industry who asserts the demise of the plug-in electric vehicle based on 22 months of sales. John V. points out those sales have doubled over last year and could triple next year, but invites a broader perspective of factors that will contribute to PHEVs being the consumer vehicle of choice in 8-15 years. GM is doing their part to keep the momentum going and they have announced a $35 million investment to build the Cadillac ELR, a luxury coupe featuring extended range electric vehicle with Volt based technology.

Fiat is slated to start production later this year of the battery powered Fiat 500, but Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, isn’t shy about asserting that natural gas engines are cheaper and more viable than PHEVs. Consumers who agree with him will soon have the option of purchasing Chrysler’s Ram 2500 HD CNG pickup. The truck gets 255 miles on CNG before switching to the 8-gallon reserve tank, extending the range to 367 miles. Republic Services is expressing their CNG love, too, by announcing that they are investing $25 million to enhance their fleet with 72 CNG collection vehicles that will operate in the St. Louis area. Nationally, Republic expects to have more than 3100 trucks running on alternative fuels by the end of 2015.

In Southern California more commuters are going to have the opportunity to access cash vouchers to purchase a folding bicycle to ride to bus and/or rail stops in Pasadena. FoldnGo Pasadena is a project of the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and CALSTART. You can see photos of the cool Dahon bikes on the website. Connoisseurs of all things bike must look at the photos provided by Atlantic Cities of bikes bordering on the bizarre. Who can resist the larger than life unicycle in Shanghai or Santa Claus on wheels?

Until Tuesday,


Kimberly Taylor
Director Member Services

Tesla Supercharger Station

This one is located on I-5 at Tejon Ranch. The solar panels are on the roof.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

$3,000 Worth Of Free Natural Gas With Your Honda Civic

Buyers of a new 2012 Civic Natural Gas car will get a debit card pre-loaded with $3,000 that can be used at Clean Energy CNG stations.
The partners say they’re riding record sales of the vehicle and are "fighting back against a spike in gasoline prices." Honda says it’s posted record sales since the 2012 model went on sale a year ago – a 22% gain over sales of the older model known as the Civic GX.

In areas where there are no Clean Energy CNG stations, Honda offers a $2,000 debit card that is good at local CNG stations. These offers end on January 2, 2013.

The 2012 Civic Natural Gas Vehicle is the only OEM produced natural-gas powered passenger vehicle in the U.S. Prices start at $26,305. Unicars Honda in Indio, California, is the authorized dealer for the Civic Natural Gas Vehicle in the Coachella Valley.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

CNG In A Box

CNG In A Box
"CNG In A Box" from Peake Fuel Solutions
The CNG In A Box system is a breakthrough plug-and-play compressed natural gas (CNG) delivery system that stands ready to dramatically change the way America fuels its transportation sector. It combines GE's extensive global manufacturing capabilities with the natural gas expertise of Peake and our parent company, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, to drive savings and shift to new revenue streams.

The result is a fully integrated, CNG fueling supply system, backed by GE's ecomaginationTM qualification, that lets retailers access new profits instantly and helps fleet managers and consumers save up to 40% annually.

U.S. GasVehicles.com says…
The CNG In A Box system's 8 foot x 20 foot container is easy to ship and maintain due to its compact design. Its modular and novel design makes it plug-and-play on-site. Wayne, A GE Energy Business, manufactures the dispensers that deliver the CNG from the CNG In A Box system unit to vehicles. These alternative fuel dispensers feature PCI-compliant pay-at-the-pump technology for a familiar and secure fueling experience. Using the same dispenser and payment terminal interfaces as Wayne petroleum dispensers simplifies point of sale integration.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Clean Cities Newsletter Autumn Issue

The Fall 2012 edition of the Clean Cities Newsletter is now available. Subjects include…

Monday, October 1, 2012

NGV Infrastructure Model Report Released

This week, the American Gas Foundation released a report that evaluates the business models available to natural gas local distribution companies for developing natural gas vehicle infrastructure and for promoting the expanded use of NGVs. The SAIC-prepared report provides an overview of the three primary business models: (1) utility rate-based programs; (2) non-rate based utility programs; and (3) commercial development. According to the report, an increasingly larger number of natural gas utilities are interested in developing programs to facilitate the development of natural gas infrastructure. In addition to describing the different business models available, the report gives examples of current utilities program already in existence. The report also describes the various risk factors involved in deciding whether or not to develop an NGV program.

Some of the key findings included in the report:
  1. Rate-based NGV program may do much to jump-start NGV adoption, and may be an essential component of early development efforts;
  2. Where commercial operations already provide significant NGV investments, utility programs can advance the market by focusing on less targeted markets, providing incentives for vehicle or infrastructure development, and supporting educational efforts;
  3. The decision of whether to rate-base or not depends on a number of factors including the load objectives of the utility, the level of commercial development, and the support of policy makers and regulators;
  4. The risk-rewards of developing NGV programs should be carefully assessed and the common components included in developing the right model for a particular utility include completing the following tasks: collection of regional market information; market segmentation analysis; market competition assessment; LDC goals and customer identification; and customer preparation;
  5. Commercial development by non-regulated likely must take hold if natural gas is going to become a mainstream transportation fuel.

The report is available from the American Gas Foundation by clicking here.

Taken from the NGVAmerica Newsletter - September 28, 2012, Volume 15 Edition 38

The October 2012 "Clean Skies Bulletin"

American Clean Skies foundation
The clean skies bulletin
Established in 2007, ACSF seeks to advance America's energy independence and a cleaner, low-carbon environment through expanded use of natural gas, renewables and efficiency. Follow us
Microgrid: Power Close To Home
A microgrid is designed so that generation and distribution resources are closer to customers, thus removing the need for long-distance power lines. This infographic shows how a neighborhood could create a microgrid for its own power by installing solar panels on roofs, small wind turbines, and natural gas generators.
Learn More
Extreme Weather Challenges The Grid
Deep space
Every year storms like derechos, tornadoes and hurricanes expose the vulnerability of our electricity infrastructure by bringing down power lines and tripping power plants. Patrick Bean, ACSF’s energy policy advisor, provides alternative options for more electricity reliability. 
Oil Shift: Greener, Cheaper Shipping 
Red truck
Federal agencies annually spend roughly $150 billion on third-party transportation services. Is it time for federal agencies to take on a new challenge? Yes. Oil Shift provides a guide to technologies already available to foster the transition.
Learn More Learn More
Cover Story
Shale Gas Rocks The Economy...And Politics cartoon
Surging U.S. natural gas production is a "game-changer" for the nation's energy security and the economy. 
Learn More
Regulatory Watch
Cross-State Air Pollution Rules Update
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has until October 5, 2012 to seek a rehearing of a court’s August 21 decision to vacate the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), the EPA’s interstate trading program designed to reduce emissions of ozone and particulate precursors from power plants in the eastern United States. 
Learn More
New Report
Tech Effect: New Production Techniques Are Driving Economic Growth
In a period of just a few years, technological innovations have transformed the U.S. oil and gas industry into a powerhouse that is providing a substantial growth impetus to the national economy and the economies of many states.  
Learn More
Where Can I Fill Up? Where Can I Fill Up? A new nationwide survey of Natural Gas Vehicle fueling facilities and related government incentive programs. Learn More
Upcoming Programs And Events
Corporate Responsiblity Magazine's COMMIT!Forum on Global Business and Sustainability, New York, NY, October 2-3, 2012 Western Interstate Energy Board Conference, San Diego, CA, October 3-5 Cleanweb at SXSW Eco, Austin, TX, October 4, 2012
Energy 101: How Do You Turn Wind Into Electricity? 
Energy 101: Wind Energy Whether on land or sea, wind turbines harness the kinetic energy of moving air. This new Energy 101 explains how that wind energy creates electricity.
Learn More
New Auto Mileage And Emission Rules Encourage NGVs
The new rules expressly include NGVs -- along with electric hybrids (PHEVs), and fuel cell vehicles — as one of the innovative technologies that manufacturers are encouraged to use to meet the new CAFE standards. Learn More
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