A number of new products and alternative-fuel initiatives were highlighted during the first day of the 2016 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo being held in Long Beach, CA, this week:
- McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing, Inc., a division of Oshkosh Corp., introduced a high capacity, low profile back-of-cab configuration for its NGEN compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system. Designed for fleets using Class 7 and Class 8 trucks, the NGEN’s new back-of-cab fuel tank package offers 50% fewer fitting connections and 25% fewer plumbing components than industry standard systems. “We’ve reduced overall weight and increased capacity, all while maintaining the lower profile municipalities and construction vehicles with dump body configurations require,” noted Lucas Crist, project engineer at McNeilus. “It provides customers with the benefit of all the needed capacity to get them through a full day’s work in a single module with 92 diesel gallon equivalents (DGEs).”
- Love’s Travel Stops revealed a new log for its recently-acquired Trillium CNG division at the show. Executives from both companies also addressed how combining their experience in the CNG and travel stop industries benefits both fleets and the motoring public.
- Electric vehicle (EV) recharging network provider ChargePoint unveiled its new CPF25 charging station and upgrades to its fleet plan. The CPF25 station is a fully networked, 32 amp, Level 2 charging station that includes an RFID [radio frequency identification] card/smartphone reader for authentication, Wi-Fi network, and a rugged, easy to mount, compact and attractive case rated for indoor or outdoor use. It comes in 18- and 23-ft. cable options with a standard J1772 connector that can plug into to any EV. ChargePoint added that its updated Fleet Plan taps into real-time data provided through the CPF25 station to better gauge re-charging needs and EV usage patterns. The firm is also rolling out the ChargePoint Fleet Card so fleets can tap into public re-charging infrastructure not owned by the fleet operator for on-route charging.
- Spire Natural Gas Fueling Solutions and Mainstay Fuel Technologies, Inc. announced a partnership at the ACT Expo that will link Spire’s CNG fueling station offerings with Mainstay’s CNG vehicle fuel system expertise to provide “customized” CNG vehicle and fueling station solutions tailored to specific fleet needs, with competitive pricing both on the road and at the pump, noted Peter Stansky, senior vice president and COO of Spire. “This joint effort enhances the ability of both our companies to be competitive in the marketplace,” added Rod Grandy, Mainstay’s CEO.
- Mainstay is also starting production of a new 165 DGE back-of-cab on-board CNG fuel storage system using the latest iteration of Type IV cylinder technology for faster and more efficient fills. “This 165 DGE Back-of-Cab configuration fills a product need that our customers have asked for, and we believe the narrow rail space requirements and reduced frame weight of the systems will be attractive to the fleets and dealers,” noted David Benner, one of Mainstay’s founders and its director of business development and technical services. The same design and features will also be available in a 120 DGE back-of-cab configuration, he added.
- XL Hybrids Inc. noted at the ACT Expo that its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System will have accumulated 25 million road miles globally by the end of this month. “The number of fleet vehicles using XL Hybrids’ technology is increasing significantly as we work with major fleets, including the Coca-Cola Company, AmeriPride Service and the City of Boston, and gain new clients, such as BMC Stock and Yale University,” noted Clay Siegert, co-founder and chief operating officer for XL Hybrids. He pointed out that those 25 million miles saved 440,000-plus gallons of fuel for fleets using the XL system, reduced the emission of 4,000-plus tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), and saved 3,500 hours of driver productivity with fewer stops for fuel fill-ups. On average, Siegert said the XL3 system provides for a 25% increase in miles per gallon, while reducing CO2 emission some 20%.
- The California Truck Equipment Company (CTEC), of Downey, CA and Rockport Commercial Vehicles, out of Elkhart, IN are two of the latest vehicle builders to offer all-electric versions of their existing commercial vehicles using the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain. Motive noted at the ACT Expo that the first All-Electric CTEC work truck was recently delivered to the City of Santa Ana, CA, as a part of a California Energy Commission grant that also supplied the first three shuttle buses for the Mountain View Community Shuttle program (partially funded by Google). Motiv added that it will make the Rockport all-electric box truck available for test drives through demonstrations and short-term leases to support fleets in making the decision to add electric vehicles.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to show fleets that going electric doesn’t have to mean a big change in operations,” noted Jim Castelaz, Motiv’s CEO. “Commercial fleets rely on consistency within their vehicles and operations, so having familiar OEM vehicle builders like Rockport and CTEC now offering all-electric vehicles is a game changer. It minimizes personnel training and maintenance on these new all-electric vehicles while maximizing fuel savings and reducing air pollution.”