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Fleet Transition Blueprint: Natural Gas

July 24, 2014 in Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Alternative Fuels, Clean Air, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Fleets

While listing the benefits of transitioning a fleet to natural gas is easy, actually going through with a fleet conversion requires thorough research and analysis.  For those fleet managers seeking to move from gasoline to a cleaner fuel source like natural gas, the task may at first seem overwhelming.

Credit: National Geographic

Credit: National Geographic

If you are a manager considering transitioning your medium-duty fleet to natural gas, Work Truck Magazine recently published an article that will provide advice and clarify the process.  In an attempt to answer many of the common questions that come along with natural gas fleet conversion (i.e. What is involved with acquiring natural gas trucks? What should fleet managers expect with order logistics and delivery times? What are the factors to consider with fueling and service infrastructure?), Work Truck spoke with experts at Clean Energy, Freightliner, Cummins Westport, GE Capital Fleet Services, and Ryder to get their advice on these questions and more.

The experts provide sound advice on a number of issues:

On deciding whether the investment makes business sense:

“One of the key drivers is fuel use,” said Jeff Campbell, director of marketing for Cummins Westport Inc., which manufactures dedicated natural gas engines as a factory-direct option for several truck and bus OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer). “The higher the fuel use — in terms of both miles and engine hours — the better the business case.”

On deciding whether CNG or LNG is most suitable for your fleet:

“LNG is best suited for high-mileage applications where the fuel is consumed more quickly so that the fleet is not exposed to fuel venting (a characteristic of LNG),” said Perry of Ryder. “LNG fueling infrastructure is more limited than CNG, which also has an impact on the applications that can be supported. CNG is much more widely available and provides a lower cost per diesel gallon equivalent and overall operating costs under current conditions.”

On acquisition logistics:

“The availability of factory-converted natural gas trucks is limited and thus the fleet’s OEM [purchase] agreements will drive some of the decision,” said Ken Gillies, manager of truck purchasing and engineering for GE Capital Fleet Services. “Where possible, the factory-converted vehicles tend to increase customer confidence in the vehicle’s overall performance.”

On creating a fueling strategy:

If a fleet is one where trucks “return-to-base” at the end of each shift, private onsite fueling might be a practical option.

“When trucks come home every night, the drivers can park the vehicles in the yard, snap on the CNG nozzle hooked to a time-fill station, and then walk away,” said Peter Grace, senior vice president, sales and finance, Clean Energy Fuels Corporation, a provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America.

Finally, on maintaining natural gas vehicles:

“Fleet managers must look at what sort of modifications they need to do to their garage or service bays to ensure their shop complies with government standards for working with natural gas vehicles,” said Grace. “The ventilation has to meet certain standards and the heating systems have to be modified because if there is a gas leak, that can create a fire hazard.”

To read the whole article for more useful information, click here.

Alternative Fuels First Responder Training – Sign up Now!

July 15, 2014 in Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Alternative Fuels, Calendar of Events, Education, Uncategorized


Take advantage of this FREE Alternative Fuels First Responder Training!

With alternative fueled vehicles becoming more popular on the market, it is important that first and second responders are prepared to deal with these vehicles in case of an emergency…haven’t been trained yet?

Register Here

Presented in corporation with Clean Cities Coalition and Rio Hondo College. The Alternative Fuels Training Course is designed for: first responders (EMT, fire fighters and police officers) and second responders (tow truck operators and parking enforcement officers).

Course Description:

This training is a 6 hour Clean Cities Learning Program/ U.S. Department of Energy approved course. Participants will learn how to safely respond to accidents involving alternative fuels and be able to do the following:

  • Understand the different fuel properties and characteristics- gaseous fuels, biofuels
  • Vehicle identification- electric vehicles, gaseous  fuels vehicles, biofuel vehicles
  • Vehicle basic components
  • Recommended first responder and second responder procedures for alternative fuel vehicles
  • Appropriate equipment for that vehicle and fuel
  • Towing and storage



Thursday July 31, 2014

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Center for Sustainable Energy
9325 Sky Park Court, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123




Natural Gas 201: Informational Webinar

July 2, 2014 in Alternative Fuels, Calendar of Events, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Fleets

On July 10, 2014, Westport and Clean Energy Fuels will be teaming up to provide part two of their free informational webinar series for fleet operators.  This webinar, titled “Natural Gas 201: Delivering Options,” will build on the basics of natural gas for transportation in order to provide more information on building a fleet with the alternative fuel. This webinar will be useful for fleet managers who are interested in learning more about fueling their fleets with natural gas.

WestportClean energy


In this free webinar, the second in the series of webinars from Westport and Clean Energy Fuels, you’ll learn about:

    • Vehicle packages and financing options
    • Leveraging incentives to accelerate returns
    • Local dealer and service infrastructure
    • Maintenance considerations
    • Sample fleet payback scenarios
    • Fleet operator reference case
    • Simple payback calculation

To participate register here.

If you missed the first webinar in the series, “Natural Gas 101: Delivering Savings,” you can listen and view it online here.

EV Roadmap Conference

June 30, 2014 in Calendar of Events, Charging Stations, Education, Electric Vehicles, Feature, Fleets


The  7th EV Roadmap Conference will be held from July 24 -25, 2014 at the World Trade Center in Portland, Oregon.  The EV Roadmap conference has become known as the Pacific Northwest’s premier electric vehicle gathering and one of the leading electric vehicle conferences in the United States. EV Roadmap brings together Oregon’s early adopters with national and international experts to inform transportation electrification efforts.  EV Roadmap 7 is produced by Portland State University, Portland General Electric, and Drive Oregon.

This year’s conference focus is “making connections” and stems from the realization that electric vehicle adoption and electric vehicle infrastructure deployment requires collective support from stakeholders, utilities and local governments to vehicle OEMs, charging providers, interest groups, and drivers. The conference provides networking opportunities and facilitates discussions on how stakeholders can collaborate to advance the deployment of electric vehicles and infrastructure.    

To register, click here.



PCC Workshop on Zero Emission Vehicles in Fleets

June 26, 2014 in Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Electric Vehicles, Events, Fleets, Uncategorized

The Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) Workshop on Zero Emission Vehicles in Fleets will be held on July 23, 2104 in Portland, Oregon.  The workshop is designed for people involved in managing and procuring fleet vehicles, representatives of organizations involved in the ZEV supply chain, ZEV policymakers, and people working on ZEV issues for non-profit and academic institutions.

This meeting, which will take place the day before the EV Roadmap conference in Portland, will focus on opportunities, resources and strategies for incorporating zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) into public and private sector fleets on the West Coast. It kicks off an initiative of the Governors of California, Oregon, and Washington and the Premier of British Columbia to expand the deployment of ZEVs in fleets as described in the PCC’s Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy.



The workshop will be an opportunity to:

Learn from West Coast fleet managers and others on the leading edge of ZEV adoption about addressing key challenges for ZEVs in fleets
Recommend next steps on coordinated regional public and private sector efforts for expanding ZEVs in fleets
Inform the development of a fleet manager toolkit for ZEV assessment and deployment
Identify and understand key opportunities for ZEVs in public and private sector fleets for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles
Describe specific barriers for shifting fleet procurement investments to ZEVs – and collaboratively identify the market and policy strategies for overcoming these barriers
Hear from organizations that are ready to take a pledge to join the PCC initiative

For more details on the event and to register, please follow this link:

If you have any questions, please contact Petra Vallila-Buchman at

Workshop Recap: Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Best Practices

June 20, 2014 in Alternative Fuels, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Electric Vehicles, Fueling Stations, Infrastructure, Uncategorized

Wednesday June 18, 2014 – San Diego Regional Clean Cities Coalition hosted a workshop, “Best Practices for Alternative Fuel Infrastructure” at the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE).   The workshop provided in-depth guidance and recommendations on developing and deploying electric and natural gas infrastructure.  The event was well received with over 30 attendees ranging from local government, private companies, fleet managers and interested residents.

Electric Infrastructure

Guest speakers for the electric infrastructure portion were Jessica Jinn from CCSE, Randy Schimka from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Chris Schmidt from Caltrans.  Jessica provided an overview of current San Diego regional electric vehicle planning and future alternative fuel readiness planning.  Randy Schmika when into detail on electric vehicle charging equipment, site selection and permitting, while Chris Schmidt provides a site example from installing infrastructure at a city Park-n-Ride.

In addition, Envision Solar displayed their EV ARC a mobile renewable elective vehicles charging station.

CCSE vehicle charging with the EV ARC

CCSE vehicle charging with the EV ARC

Natural Gas Infrastructure 

Guest speaker Steve McCarthy, Western Regional Sales Manager at Clean Energy detailed the deployment process for establishing a natural gas fueling station and provide recommendations on financing, permitting and site specifications. All Clean Energy  stations in San Diego use renewable natural gas as part of Clean Energy’s Redeem program. For more information on the Redeem, click here.

Steve McCarthy from Clean Energy explains the steps involved to install a CNG station.

Some of the presentations from the workshop are linked below:

Clean Cities Introduction - Kevin Wood, CCSE

Sand Diego Regional Electric Vehicle Planning - Jessica Jinn, CCSE

SDG&E Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Overview - Randy Schimka, SDG&E

Caltrans Del Lago Park-n-Ride Ev Project- Chris Schmidt, Caltrans

Clean Energy CNG Infrastructure Best Practices - Steve McCarthy, Clean Energy


Best Practices for Workplace Charging

Regional Plug-In Electric Vehicle Planning 

Clean Energy Station and Fleet Support


Parker Demonstrates CNG Option for RunWise Hybrid Drive System

June 18, 2014 in Alternative Fuels, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Hybrid Vehicles

Parker Hannifin and partner Autocar have added compressed natural gas fuel to an Autocar E3 trash truck with Parker’s fuel and brake-saving RunWise hydraulic hybrid drive. This prototype using a Heil body, has been run through month-long initial trials with Republic Services in Chula Vista, California. The vehicle demonstration was conducted over one month on a collection route typically served by a traditional CNG truck.

“Test data shows that the RunWise system is delivering up to 20 percent incremental fuel savings over traditional CNG trucks and a 10 percent improvement in productivity, and we can anticipate that reduced brake wear and routine maintenance requirements will also contribute to the value of these clean energy vehicles,” said Shane Terblanche, general manager, hybrid drive systems division.

Parker Hannifin and Autocar, working with Heil, have combined CNG and hydraulic hybrid technologies in a single E3 truck.
The RunWise Advanced Series Hybrid Drive System improves upon the typical gains achieved by using natural gas as a fuel source. Parker will continue to develop this technology with its industry partners to commercialize a CNG option for its RunWise Advanced Series Hybrid Drive System. For additional information on Parker’s hydraulic hybrid drive technology, visit

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Workshop – Sign Up Now!

June 11, 2014 in Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Alternative Fuels, Calendar of Events, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Electric Vehicles, Events, Feature, Fueling Stations, Infrastructure

Best Practices for Alternative Fuel Infrastructure

Increasingly, fleets and consumers in Southern California are Converting to alternative fuel vehicles and creating greater need for accessible infrastructure.

Implementing a fuel station can be daunting, so we’ve gathered some experts to walk you through the deployment processes for natural gas and electric vehicles and the requirements for refueling stations.

Event Topics

  • Permitting, site specification, equipment and financing
  • Recommendations for workplace and multi-unit dwelling charging stations
  • Advice to fleets on gathering station development support
  • Communication needs (Fill time, maneuverability, location, etc.) to cities and station developers


Date: Wednesday June 18, 2014


11:00 a.m. – Registration

11:30 a.m. – Electric Infrastructure

12:30 p.m. – Networking Lunch

1:00 p.m. – Natural Gas Infrastructure


California Center for Sustainable Energy

9325 Sky park Court, Suite 100

San Diego, Ca 92123

Register Online

Event Speakers

Randy SchimkaSan Diego Gas & Electric- Randy is a Project Manager in the Clean Transportation Group at SDG&E. Randy will provide an overview of regional electric infrastructure and provide recommendations on planning and installing electric vehicle charging stations for public and private use.   

Chris SchmidtCaltransChris is Public Transportation & Grants Branch Chief at California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).  Chris will discuss the challenges Caltrans has faced implementing electric vehicle infrastructure and provide insights to overcome these challenges.

Steve McCarthyClean Energy- Steve is Western Regional Sales Manager at Clean Energy. Steve will detail the deployment process for establishing a natural gas fueling station and provide recommendations on financing, permitting and site specifications.    


$1,000 Purchase Credit to Honda Civic Natural Gas Vehicle Customers

June 9, 2014 in Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Funding, Uncategorized

Californians who purchase a new Honda Civic natural gas vehicle are eligible for a California Energy Commission $1,000 purchase credit supplied by certified Honda Civic natural gas dealers at the time of purchase.

Fleets or retail customers can receive $1,00 purchase credits for up to 20 new Honda Civic natural gas vehicles.  The supply of purchase credits through the California Energy Commission is limited to 1,600 and expires when all have been distributed or on 22 April 2015, whichever occurs first.

In addition to the purchase credit, Honda Civic natural gas vehicle customers in California qualify for a White Clean Air Sticker which allows you to single-occupant access to High Occupancy Vehicle “carpool” and High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes.   Due to California’s AB 266, the expiration date for the white stickers has been extended to 1 January 2019.

For more information click here2010-honda-civic-gx-natural-gas-vehicle_100311089_m

Learn How to Comply with the Truck and Bus Regulation

June 3, 2014 in Education, Events, Fleets, Uncategorized

Thursday June 5, 2014 the California Air Resources Board will be conducting two sessions of Course # 521: How to Comply with the Truck and Bus Regulation.

The classes will cover:

Truck and Bus Regulation Applicability truck
Engine Model Year Schedule
Exemptions, Extensions, and Credits
Good Faith Effort
How to Report for Regulation Flexibilities
Broker and Dispatcher Requirements
Regulatory Changes

Additional topics include brief summaries of other diesel regulations, resources, and contact information.

Course # 521: How to Comply with the Truck and Bus Regulation

Time: June 5, 2014

   9:00 – 11:00 a.m.


           1:00 – 3:00 p.m.


         North San Diego Small Business Development Center

1823 Mission Ave, Oceanside CA 92058

To register or for more information, contact James Cropper at 916-323-0025 or