Green Fleet Roundup: Ford, J.J. Taylor, Kia, Chevy, Linde
Ford’s MyFord Mobile smartphone app and Web portal now features a charging station finder powered by PlugShare.com, compatible with the new Ford Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles. In addition to aggregating publicly available lists of stations from a variety of sources, PlugShare incorporates crowd-sourced information from users as it aims to provide the most comprehensive dataset available. Ford says it is the only manufacturer to offer real-time charging station location information through its smartphone app.
Beer distributor J.J. Taylor Companies has ordered 43 Freightliner Business Class M2 112 compressed natural gas tractors and plans to completely replace its Tampa-based fleet of 95 diesel tractors with the cleaner burning CNG units within the next 36 months. The company has just opened a compressed natural gas station at its Tampa site. Plans for a second station and conversion of the company’s 75-tractor fleet in Fort Myers, Fla., are underway.
Liquefied natural gas fueling firm Linde North America has deployed 20 additional LNG Class 8 trucks to its distribution fleet. These trucks are delivering cryogenic gases to Linde’s customers in North America. Linde says that its LNG-fueled tractors are lighter in weight, allowing Linde to increase payloads, improve service and better manage fuel costs. In addition, the LNG tractors run more smoothly and quietly than the traditionally powered vehicles they replace, Linde says,
Kia Motors America unveiled the Cross GT 3.8-liter V6 hybrid concept car (pictured) at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Backing the V6 is an evolution of Kia’s parallel hybrid system, a pancake-shaped electric motor sandwiched between the V6 and transmission. The electric motor sits under the rear floor. Combined, the V6 and electric motor produce 500 lb.-ft. of torque and 400 horsepower, with an all-electric range of 20 miles, Kia says. KIA also used the Chicago show to launch its Forte 5-door hatchback, powered by a 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected engine.
Also at the Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet unveiled the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel. Chevy is hoping to cash in on the jump in diesel sales in the US. There have been double-digit increases in diesel sales in 20 of the last 24 months, Chevy says.
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