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Green Fleet Roundup: Honda, Love’s, UPS, States to Buy 10,000 CNG Cars

Honda announced it is working with Clean Energy Fuels Corp., owner of public compressed natural gas fueling stations, and participating US-based dealers to provide customers purchasing new 2012 Civic Natural Gas vehicle with a debit card pre-loaded with $3,000. The debit cards can be used to buy fuel at Clean Energy Fuel CNG fueling stations around the country. The Civic natural gas vehicle, which is available at 199 certified Honda CNG dealers in 36 states, is designed to cover more than 200 miles on a single tank of fuel depending on driving conditions. The nationwide average price of natural gas fuel for vehicles in July was $2.05 per equivalent gasoline gallon, according to the most recent Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price report from the Department of Energy.

Love’s Travel Stop has opened its first CNG fuel facility in Oklahoma City designed for rapid fueling of heavy-duty trucks. Love’s began offering CNG for light-duty and consumer vehicles at smaller locations in Oklahoma in early 2011 through a partnership with Chesapeake Energy. Additionally, Love’s is testing its first 11.9-liter CNG engine with plans to buy more for its 300-truck fuel delivery fleet.

A coalition of 22 state governments is expected to agree to buy as many as 10,000 CNG vehicles annually if automakers build them, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper told the Detroit News. Hickenlooper, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and other officials met with US auto manufacturers in July to push them to build CNG vehicles. Hickenlooper said the 22 states have agreed to make a joint bid to buy CNG vehicles to help spur production.

UPS has deployed 40 hydraulic hybrid vehicles in Baltimore and Atlanta. The vehicles are designed to achieve up to 35 percent improved fuel economy and up to 30 percent carbon dioxide emissions reduction over traditional diesel-powered vehicles that use automatic transmissions in stop-and-go applications. The HHVs operate on two power sources, a fuel-efficient diesel combustion engine and advanced series hydraulic hybrid. The vehicle deployments were supported in part by grants from the US Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which aims to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation.

Air Products plans to add two hydrogen fueling stations in the London area to create a network of five in the city. Air Products has already installed two fueling stations at Heathrow and in East London. It now has plans for another East London station and a centrally located fueling station as part of the Clean Hydrogen In European Cities project. The fifth station in the network is just north of London at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedford.

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