NGVAmerica News Week in Review: January 18, 2016
- NCWM Retains NGVAmerica Supported DGE Proposal as Voting Item
- Game Changer NGV Industry Summit Coming to Long Beach, California
- New York Transit Authority Adding CNG Buses to Fleet
- AFV Natural Gas Fuel Systems Now Offering Contract Assembly Services
- NGVi Brings NGV Technician Training to Toronto for First Time
- Zebulon Innovations Partners with IMPCO Automotive in U.S.
- Westport Signs Investment Agreement with Financial Group for up to $71.3 Million
- TOTE Maritime Successfully Bunkers LNG at Jacksonville Port
NCWM Retains NGVAmerica Supported DGE Proposal as Voting Item
January 18, 2016
Last week, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) held its Interim Meeting in San Diego, California. The NCWM moved to retain the diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) proposal as a voting item for this summer’s Annual Meeting. NGVAmerica staff attended the meeting and participated in the open hearing discussion. NGVAmerica staff also attended and presented information to the Subcommittee on Fuels and Lubricants. The presentation included an update on recent data concerning the energy content of natural gas and diesel fuel.
This year’s open session debate was not as contentious as in past years but there continues to be a small contingent of weights and measures officials who strongly oppose not only the DGE proposal but also continued use of the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) unit that has been in place since 1994. The officials continue to argue that the method of sale (unit displayed on the pump read-out) for natural gas should be mass (e.g., pounds or kilograms). In the two previous years, the DGE standard was supported by a majority of members of the House of Representatives, a body in which each state gets one vote, but has failed to attract sufficient votes in the House of Delegates. NGVAmerica this year again reiterated its support for the DGE standard and indicated that this support extends to fleets, retailers, and natural gas providers. We also noted that ten states now recognize the DGE standard for selling LNG (many more use it for tax purposes), and indicated that the U.S. Congress recently codified the LNG DGE for taxation purposes.
During the open session hearing, Florida proposed that the NCWM consider an alternative proposal supported by the Southern Weights and Measures Association. That proposal would have required starting in 2020 that all natural gas dispensers selling in gallon equivalent units also display the total mass quantity supplied. As proposed, the requirement would have been prospective only but would have covered fuel dispensers that are upgraded. NGVAmerica commented that it would be important to understand the cost of adding this information to fueling dispensers, and that it also would be important to clarify that the change would not require retailers to display the unit price in mass on the pump, or to have to advertise pricing in mass units. NGVAmerica also suggested that the NCWM consider whether adding the total mass quantity to the receipt would achieve the intended purpose of providing greater clarity and transparency.
Following the open session hearings, the Laws & Regulations and the Specifications & Tolerances Committees met and decided to retain the DGE issue as a voting item. The committees also moved to amend the proposal to stipulate that receipts must show the total mass quantity for sales beginning in 2018. Publication 16 which will be available sometime in the next several months will include the revised proposal.
It is critical that natural gas supporters reach out to state and local officials who are members of NCWM and urge them to support the proposal this summer. The recent changes made to the proposal along with changes made last year increase the chances it will be adopted this year. This year’s Annual Meeting will be held in July in Denver, Colorado. NGVAmerica intends to work with members to make sure that a successful vote occurs this summer. We will reach out to members and trade allies in the coming months to develop a coordinated effort. More details on this effort will be forthcoming in the future.
Game Changer NGV Industry Summit Coming to Long Beach, California
January 18, 2016
Registration is now open for the Natural Gas Vehicle Industry Summit in Long Beach, California on February 24, 2016. The purpose of this summit is to provide attendees with critical selling strategies and tools that the NGV industry needs to sell the environmental value proposition of HD NGVs in today’s low oil price environment and to keep the sales momentum moving forward.
To be successful in 2016, it is imperative that our industry effectively communicates the tremendous environmental value proposition offered by today’s heavy-duty NGVs to shippers, carriers, fleet customers, elected officials, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders. The February 24 industry gathering will provide you and your team with the knowledge and talking points to communicate these key messages to the industry’s target audiences.
NGV Market Challenges
The market for heavy-duty NGVs is being challenged by low oil prices, a situation likely to continue through 2016, if not beyond. Meanwhile, an increased focus on zero emission vehicles has shifted focus and resources away from the NGV market. These factors have slowed the growing momentum and interest in our market, and you and other industry stakeholders are likely feeling the impact. Fortunately, we now have a “game-changing” opportunity to reinvigorate HD NGV sales, by leveraging the emergence of extremely low-emitting HD natural gas technologies and fuel.
NGV Market Opportunity
The recent development and commercialization of the ultra-low NOx Cummins Westport ISL G near zero natural gas engine—combined with increased production and use of renewable natural gas (RNG)—is arguably the most important development for America’s HDV and air quality sectors in several decades. This technology-fuel combination can power a wide range of HDVs while offering the cleanest commercially available NGV technology in the market today and likely next decade or more.
This development can provide a very timely boost to our industry. Leading transit, refuse, trucking companies, shippers, and global corporations are all working to “green” their operations and to make them more sustainable. At the same time, local, state and federal government agencies throughout North America are working to achieve a number of critical air quality goals. All of these efforts can be accomplished by the increased deployment of low-emission HD NGVs.
Game Changer White Paper
Much of the content presented at the Summit will be drawn from a technical white paper, entitled “Game Changer,” that is being developed by Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA) on behalf the South Coast Air Quality Management District, American Gas Association, California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership, Southern California Gas Company, PG&E, Clean Energy Fuels, and Agility Fuel Systems. The white paper will provide a comprehensive overview of the important environmental benefits offered by today’s NGVs. It will be published in the first quarter of 2016 and is anticipated to become an extremely important resource as our industry works to drive interest, momentum, and sales.
What to Expect at the NGV Summit
The NGV Industry Summit will provide a “preview” of the key findings of the Game Changer white paper initiative. The key challenges and, more importantly, the opportunities of our industry will be discussed in depth. The event will help you and your organization to understand how to effectively communicate the key messages of today’s NGV market and drive sales in 2016 and beyond.
Learn How to Sell HD NGVs in 2016 and Beyond
Attendees will come away with a deep understanding of how to effectively sell HD NGVs in the new energy reality we are living in. The Summit will provide the information and tools the NGV industry needs to sell the environmental value proposition of HD NGVs in today’s low oil price environment and to keep the sales momentum moving forward. It is critical that you and your leadership team attend this event so that you are best prepared to drive NGV market activity and grow your business in 2016.
Active members of participating organizations receive a discounted rate, in addition to early bird pricing through January 31. To register for the summit, go to: www.ngvgamechanger.com.
New York Transit Authority Adding CNG Buses to Fleet
January 15, 2016
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced that Metro has introduced new CNG vehicles to its transit fleet, as the agency takes the initiative toward implementing a greener mode of public transportation.
Metro will begin operating the first of 44 full-size buses, first of 10 paratransit vans and two MV-1 supervisor vehicles, all powered by natural gas. The new buses and vans will replace the oldest diesel vehicles currently in use.
“I want to thank our federal and state delegations for their collective efforts in securing essential funds for these vehicles,” said Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director. “This investment in New York’s transportation infrastructure magnifies the ongoing synergy between public transit investment, job creation and economic growth in western New York and further enhances the current fiscal stability of the NFTA in the process.”
The new 40-foot buses were manufactured in Plattsburg, New York, by Nova Bus. Nineteen additional full size buses will be phased into service between now and February 1. The remainder of the 44 buses (24) are expected to be carrying customers throughout the region later this summer.
Procurement of these vehicles is supported by $3.8 million in new New York State Accelerated Transit Capital funding provided to the NFTA through the 2015-16 New York State budget.
The paratransit vans, manufactured in Canandaigua, New York, by Shepard Brothers, will be used to provide customers with special needs who depend on Metro paratransit services for transportation. Nine additional CNG fueled vans will be incorporated into operation by February 1.
A $5.9 million state-of-the-art CNG fueling facility at Metro’s Frontier Bus facility is in the commissioning phase and buses are presently being fueled as part of the process. The fueling station encompasses one and a half acres and features two 250-hp compressors that will serve four fuel dispensers. The facility is expected to be fully operational January 25.
AFV Natural Gas Fuel Systems Now Offering Contract Assembly Services
January 15, 2016
Along with providing NGV bent tube and hose fuel line assemblies, fittings, valves and other associated components, AFV now offers contract assembly services.
AFV performs the required manufacturing, inspection and testing required to provide a complete panel assembly ready to install in a vehicle fuel delivery system. Other sub-assemblies for outsourcing may include tank configuration assemblies, fuel manifolds and pressure regulator/filter assemblies.
As a TS16949 and ISO 9001 certified company, AFV has the capability to provide the complete process from incoming inspection through pressure testing.
Westport Signs Investment Agreement with Financial Group for up to $71.3 Million
January 11, 2016
Westport Innovations has entered into an agreement with Cartesian Capital Group, of New York, for up to $71.3 million in financing to support global growth initiatives. The financing agreement immediately provides $17.5 million in non-dilutive capital with up to $53.8 million in additional capital contingent on reaching key milestones and establishing new investment opportunities. This financing package includes a contingent payment (derived substantially from future High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) product sales), a convertible debenture, non-core asset sales, and incremental funding capacity to support future product development. As part of the financing agreement, Peter Yu, Managing Partner and Founder of Cartesian, will be appointed to Westport’s Board of Directors.
“This financing creates a solid financial foundation and clear path to the commercial launch of key products,” said David Demers, CEO of Westport.
NGVi Brings NGV Technician Training to Toronto for First Time
January 15, 2016
Natural Gas Vehicle Institute (NGVi), an ASE CASE-accredited provider of technical training for the CNG and LNG industry, is bringing its NGV technician training as a public offering for the first time to Toronto, Canada. NGVi will offer NGV Essentials and Safety Practices on March 15 and CNG Fuel System Inspector Training on March 16-17. Both classes will be held at Toronto’s Centennial College.
There has been growing interest in the use of natural gas vehicles in Canada over the past few years. According to Natural Resources Canada, the number of NGVs in the country has increased from 14,000 to more than 20,000 in the past three years.
“We have been excited to see the progress of the Canadian natural gas vehicle industry in the last few years,” said Leo Thomason, Executive Director of NGVi. “Our NGV technician training programs provide our students with in-depth information that will help them perform their daily duties safely and accurately.”
NGVi’s NGV Essentials and Safety Practices, which is designed for all technicians and support teams performing routine maintenance, inspection, diagnostic and repair of natural gas vehicles, teaches the fundamentals of natural gas used specifically as a transportation fuel, CNG and LNG fuel systems and maintenance practices for NGVs. The course is prerequisite for technicians who also will take NGVi’s CNG Fuel System Inspector Training or NGV Heavy-Duty Maintenance and Diagnostics Training. CNG Fuel System Inspector Training helps ensure fleet technicians are adequately trained on the entire process of fuel system inspection, all related components, and safety practices specific to NGVs. Since 2012, NGVi has provided training for more than 15 Canadian companies.
For more information about NGV Technician Training, or to register for one or both classes, click here.
Zebulon Innovations Partners with IMPCO Automotive in U.S.
January 11, 2016
Zebulon Innovations has been named the Exclusive U.S. Distributor for IMPCO Automotive’s third model year and beyond CNG and LPG vehicle conversions, as well as systems for newer vehicles that have exceeded IMPCO’s original 25,000 mile odometer restriction.
Zebulon Innovations is the Exclusive North American Importer and Distributor of Zavoli’s CNG and LPG automotive conversion systems. The Zavoli brand is successfully represented in more than 30 countries, and entered the U.S. market four years ago, with assistance from Zebulon. Zavoli targets vehicle conversions that fall under IUL (Intermediate Useful Life) U.S. EPA guidelines. The EPA defines the IUL classification as vehicles that are two model years of age or older, but still within useful life.
IMPCO has been a leader in converting OEM vehicles, while also fully supporting an independent U.S. distributor network from coast-to-coast in the U.S. IMPCO possesses an extensive offering of Certified CNG and LPG conversion systems. IMPCO recognizes the need for conversion system options for vehicles that have surpassed the second model year and or 25,000 miles on the odometer. Utilizing their existing EPA Certifications, IMPCO will now offer third model year conversion systems, as well as systems for vehicles that have exceeded the 25,000 mileage restriction. Conversions beyond the third model year will also be considered under EPA guidelines and IMPCO’s extensive offering of EPA Certified Systems.
Zebulon will lead all phases of IMPCO’s third model year and beyond conversions, and conversions for vehicles that have exceeded IMPCO’s original 25,000 mile restriction including marketing, sales, distribution, and technical support.
TOTE Maritime Successfully Bunkers LNG at Jacksonville Port
January 12, 2016
On Saturday, January 9, 2016, TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico successfully loaded LNG bunkers aboard the world’s first LNG powered containership, MV Isla Bella. Approximately 100,000 LNG gallons transported by 12 TOTE-owned LNG ISO containers were loaded on schedule. The bunkering was conducted under strict US Coast Guard oversight while Isla Bella was also undergoing cargo operations.
The LNG was transferred from the ISO tank containers using a specially developed transfer skid developed by TOTE’s partner Applied Cryogenics Technologies (ACT) of Houston, Texas. The transfer skid is designed to allow four ISO tanks to be transferred to Isla Bella at once, dramatically reducing transfer time.
The LNG was sourced by TOTE’s partner, JAX LNG, LLC, from AGL Resources’ LNG production facility in Macon, Georgia. Genox Transportation, a specialized LNG trucking partner of TOTE, transported the fuel to Jacksonville. Pivotal LNG, a subsidiary of AGL Resources, also provided transfer expertise to TOTE Maritime with its highly trained LNG experts, ensured the operation was conducted safely and in accordance with best industry practices.
“We are very pleased with the results of this initial LNG bunker event and know that the use of LNG in our Marlin Class vessels will provide unprecedented environmental benefits both here in Jacksonville and in Puerto Rico,” said Tim Nolan, President of TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico.