NGVAmerica News Week in Review: June 27, 2016
- Colorado Simplifies $5,000–$20,000 Tax Credits for NGVs
- NGVAmerica Hosts NGV Stakeholders to Discuss Key Safety and Technical Issues
- Fuel Retailers Celebrate CNG Available Every 100 Miles in Oklahoma
- GRTC Launches Campaign Touting Benefits of Natural Gas Buses
- Volvo Car Launches New V90 BiFuel Station Wagon with Westport Fuel System
- Iveco Receives Order for 250 New Stralis Natural Gas Trucks
- CNGci Obtains Canadian CRN Approval for British Columbia and Ontario
Colorado Simplifies $5,000–$20,000 Tax Credits for NGVs
June 20, 2016
The State of Colorado passed legislation (HB16-1332) that provides important updates to simplify and expand existing tax credits for taxpayers who purchase cars and trucks powered by clean-burning natural gas and other alternative fuels. The bill, which was recently signed into law by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, goes into effect January 1, 2017, and will help accelerate the adoption of NGVs in Colorado.
“Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado legislature continue to recognize the strong benefits of using clean-burning natural gas in transportation, and HB16-1332 will put more natural gas vehicles on the road,” said Matthew Godlewski, President of NGVAmerica. “This legislation will help continue the transition to cleaner, low-cost, domestic natural gas for fleets and consumers across Colorado.”
The bill distinguishes between the purchase, conversion and lease of an alternative fuel vehicle, and provides $5,000–$20,000 for the purchase or conversion of an NGV, depending on whether it is a light, medium or heavy duty vehicle. The lease of an NGV will provide $2,500–$10,000 depending on the type of vehicle.
In addition, the bill simplifies the income tax credits by eliminating the need to calculate the incremental cost of the vehicle, and it allows buyers to claim the tax credit at the time of purchase for a nominal administrative fee. These commonsense changes allow fleets and consumers to quickly understand and take advantage of the value of the credits.
“Simplifying alternative fuel vehicle credits is an important step to ensure taxpayers can take advantage of the significant cost savings,” said Godlewski. “NGVAmerica commends Colorado lawmakers for their continued strong support of clean transportation and alternative fuels.”
NGVAmerica Hosts NGV Stakeholders to Discuss Key Safety and Technical Issues
June 27, 2016
The NGVAmerica Technology & Development Committee held its quarterly meeting this past week in Washington, DC. The meeting was well attended by NGVAmerica members and guests, including representatives from the US Department of Transportation (DOT), US Department of Energy (DOE), and national laboratories. The meeting proved to be an excellent opportunity for industry and government to have open discussions of issues and opportunities that impact the natural gas vehicle industry.
The DOT brought participants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). NHTSA presented a historical perspective on Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard (FMVSS) 304, Compressed Natural Gas Fuel Container Integrity, and ongoing activities within the Office of Defects and Investigations.
The historical perspective into FMVSS 304 showed that the standard was originally published with light duty vehicles in mind, and there are areas that could be updated, specifically the tank label information for inspection intervals. The DOT is looking to the NGVAmerica Technology & Development Committee to provide data and propose a new inspection interval for FMVSSS 304 label requirements. The DOT also expressed an interest to continue partnering with NGVAmerica in incident investigations involving natural gas vehicles, as the Committee continues to be a resource for DOT. FMCSA informed the committee of new ‘out of service’ criteria for commercial motor vehicles, and recommended that the NGVAmerica Technology & Development Committee be a liaison with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
The DOE discussed upcoming funding opportunities and activities within DOE relating to natural gas vehicles. This meeting was also an opportunity for NGVAmerica Technology & Development Committee members to learn about the work that many of the national laboratories are doing in the natural gas vehicle space—Sandia National Laboratory modeling indoor gas releases for maintenance facilities, National Renewable Energy Laboratory testing out of service CNG tanks, and Argonne National Laboratory developing tools to calculate greenhouse gas emissions of various conventional and alternative fuels. The DOE also informed the committee of current and upcoming funding opportunities for natural gas vehicles. The DOE appreciated the work of the committee and is interested in continuing to work together in the future.
Several committee members volunteered to be part of the recent collaboration effort with the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) to create a safety and best practice for fueling and maintaining natural gas refuse vehicles. Committee members also had an open discussion on Research & Development (R&D) priorities for the NGV industry. This open discussion resulted in a long list of opportunities to improve the value proposition for NGVs. Next steps for the R&D Working Group is to prioritize these opportunities.
Committee members were also apprised of the numerous working group activities:
- The NGVAmerica Emissions & Environmental Working Group shared their emission calculations and stated their next steps to develop a white paper describing the emission & environmental benefits of natural gas vehicles.
- The Maintenance Facility Modification Working Group informed the committee of their recent proposals to the International Code Council and NFPA 30A, including next steps in the code development process.
- The Cylinder End of Life Working group was provided an update from CSA Group on their best practice for defueling, decommissioning, and disposal of CNG tanks.
- The Codes & Standards Working Group provided an update on several CSA, NFPA, SAE, and ISO documents.
- The Gas Quality Working Group informed the committee of activities within ASTM and SAE.
- The LNG Working Group offered strategies to integrate the committee’s work with new opportunities for LNG as a fuel in non-road applications, such as marine, rail and mining.
The committee is always looking to increase participation and asks that anyone interested in providing input should contact Dan Bowerson, NGVAmerica Director of Technology & Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fuel Retailers Celebrate CNG Available Every 100 Miles in Oklahoma
June 24, 2016
Last week Oklahoma CNG retailers gathered at OnCue Express in Billings, Oklahoma, to celebrate a CNG station appearing every 100 miles along Oklahoma interstates. Representatives from OnCue Express, Love’s Travel Stops, Tulsa Gas Technologies, Oklahoma Natural Gas and Sparq Natural Gas were all in attendance.
When Oklahoma’s first comprehensive energy plan was introduced in 2011, it asked for help from companies in building CNG infrastructure along Oklahoma highways. The plan, presented by Governor Mary Fallin, noted the importance of at least one CNG station every 100 miles along Oklahoma interstates by the end of 2015.
Governor Fallin praised the industry at last week’s event for the work it has accomplished so far, adding that Oklahoma has saved more than $1 million in fuel costs since converting much of its fleet to CNG over the last few years. “It takes a diverse public and private partnership team all willing to work hard in order to achieve a bold goal like having a CNG station within every 100 miles on Oklahoma interstates,” said Fallin.
Per capita, Oklahoma has more CNG sites than any other state in the country, and CNG costs an average of just $1.09 per GGE across the state.
GRTC Launches Campaign Touting Benefits of Natural Gas Buses
June 22, 2016
The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) in Richmond, Virginia completed installing its largest bus advertising campaign in company history that highlights its positive impacts on the communities served by GRTC.
GRTC used its growing fleet of CNG-powered transit vehicles for the “Did You Know?” campaign. GRTC is committed to transitioning retiring vehicles to new CNG-powered buses and vans, an initiative that earned GRTC the prestigious 2015 Governor’s Green Fleet of the Year Award. Today, GRTC has the largest CNG transit fleet in the Commonwealth, with 84 CNG vehicles in fixed route and paratransit service, accounting for nearly 40 percent of GRTC’s entire fleet. In 2017, GRTC expects to grow its number of CNG vehicles to more than 110.
“This project was possible because of the tremendous contributions by and cooperation between departments at GRTC and the local partners working with us,” said Carrie Rose Pace, GRTC Director of Communications.
Some of the positive messages include:
- GRTC Has The Largest Compressed Natural Gas Transit Fleet In Virginia
- GRTC Riders Eliminate 18 Million Pounds of Greenhouse Gas Annually
- This Bus Takes 56 Cars Off The Road
- GRTC Riders Contribute $2 Million Into RVA’s Economy Every Year
Volvo Car Launches New V90 BiFuel Station Wagon with Westport Fuel System
June 23, 2016
Westport Fuel Systems announced that Volvo Car will launch the BiFuel version of its new V90 station wagon. The V90 is based on the same engine technology as the Volvo V60 sports wagon, which recently won second place in the Best Environmental Car in Sweden—company car category.
“By collaborating with OEMs, like Volvo Car, we are able to develop vital technology solutions to reduce emissions and continue to meet demand for premium natural gas vehicles,” said Nancy Gougarty, President and COO of Westport.
The high-performance 254 horsepower engine can run on either CNG or gasoline and features an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Sales of the V90 BiFuel, which will supersede the Volvo V70, will start in Sweden in June, 2016. Vehicle deliveries are expected to start in December, 2016.
Iveco Receives Order for 250 New Stralis Natural Gas Trucks
June 24, 2016
Last week, on the same day that the Italian vehicle manufacturer Iveco launched the New Stralis NP, French transportation and logistics company Perrenot Group placed an order for 250 of the natural gas powered trucks.
Iveco says the order is a turning point in the transition towards sustainability in road freight transport in Europe and validation of the company’s vision as a pioneer in the natural gas industrial vehicle market for the past two decades.
The Group was among the first in Europe to use renewable natural gas (RNG) in Iveco tractors in their operations in 2012. In 2013, having tested other alternative energy solutions, Iveco’s natural gas technologies proved to be the natural choice for Perrenot Group with the purchase of the first CNG refrigerated transporters fueled by liquid nitrogen. In 2014, the Group commissioned the first LNG tractors in France.
“Today we are taking a key step in our development thanks to Iveco’s advanced natural gas technology – and in particular the brand’s new 400 hp engine,” said Jacky Perrenot, President and founder of Perrenot Group. “The exceptional performance of the new Stralis NP confirms we made the right choice with Iveco’s natural gas technology as the best alternative to diesel fuel, both economically and environmentally.”
CNGci Obtains Canadian CRN Approval for British Columbia and Ontario
June 27, 2016
CNG Cylinders International (CNGci) has received receipt of Canadian CRN approval for the provinces of British Columbia (CRN No. R2348.51) and Ontario (CRN No. R2348.5). CNGci is now be able to increase its market penetration to include two key Canadian provinces. CNGci is a producer of large diameter Type 3 cylinders, giving the company a unique technological position in this market segment. The superior heat dissipation of the aluminum liner used in CNGci’s tanks allows for significantly more gas and thus more usable DGE in the cylinder under fast-fill conditions.