Ryder System, Inc. has announced that the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) Board has selected Ryder as its “fleet partner” in a “groundbreaking” heavy-duty natural gas truck rental and leasing project in Southern California. According to Ryder, it will use $19.3 million in state and federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding secured by SANBAG to implement the project.
This will mark the first time that natural gas trucks will be deployed into a large commercial truck rental and leasing operation, Ryder noted. As part of the project, Ryder said it will purchase more than 200 heavy-duty natural gas powered trucks. Both liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG and CNG) on-board fuel storage systems will be used, depending on the specific type of truck purchased and the anticipated application.
The ultra low-emission trucks will be deployed into Ryder’s Southern California operations network, where Ryder’s customers will be able to access them through short-term rentals, long-term leases, or through Ryder’s dedicated logistics services. To support these trucks, Ryder will construct new natural gas refueling stations within the region and work with its customers to identify and utilize the existing natural gas refueling infrastructure already in Southern California.
As part of its core produc t offering, Ryder said it will maintain the vehicles at three of its strategically located maintenance shops in Orange, Rancho Dominguez, and Rancho Cucamonga. Each maintenance facility will be equipped for the indoor repair of natural gas vehicles.
In addition to reducing emissions, Ryder noted that with natural gas fuel prices being significantly and consistently lower than diesel fuel, customers who incorporate natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in their fleets will have the opportunity to realize additional cost savings.
“This SANBAG-sponsored project represents a tremendous opportunity to expand our RydeGreen program to include natural gas vehicles and introduce our 1,200 commercial customers in the region to a new innovative, efficient, and environmentally-sound fleet solution,” said Tony Tegnelia, president of Ryder’s Global Fleet Management Solutions. “Our intent is to use this project as a model that we can replicate in other parts of the U.S. where Ryder has a strong presence.”
When fully implemented, this project will replace more than 1.51-million gallons of diesel use annually with 100% domestically produced low-carbon liquefied and compressed natural gas. According to SANBAG, preliminary estimates and analyses indicate the project will contribute to the maintenance and creation of more than 400 U.S. “green” automotive jobs located in regions of the country that have been the hardest hit in the current economic downturn.
Based on estimates using California’s Carl Moyer program guidelines, the project is also estimated to reduce more than 9.2-million lbs of greenhouse gas emissions per year, more than 131 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions annually, and completely eliminate 2.65 tons of diesel particulate emissions from local neighborhoods.
“We are extremely pleased to partner with Ryder on this cutting-edge project and to work collaboratively to reduce diesel emissions and improve air quality in the region,” said Paul Eaton, SANBAG Board president and Mayor of the City of Montclair.