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Green Fleet Roundup: Ikea, LA Metro, Honda, Volvo, Boulder Electric Vehicle

BEVIkea plans to add 24 of Ecotality’s Blink electric vehicle charging stations across eight more locations in the US. Installation should be completed this summer at seven stores in Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as the US corporate office.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors has approved a contract with BYD Motors for the manufacture and delivery of up to 25 all-electric buses as part of a $30 million clean air bus technology pilot project. This is the first time in Metro’s history that all-electric, zero-emission transit buses will be purchased and placed into revenue service.

Honda, TDK Corporation and Japan Metals & Chemicals are to jointly pursue the reuse of a rare earth metal extracted from nickel-metal hydride batteries in hybrid vehicles for magnets of new hybrid vehicle motors. The three companies will begin detailed discussion toward the reuse in motors and begin the process as soon as a sufficient volume of used nickel-metal hydride batteries is secured.

Boulder Electric Vehicle has become the first electric truck company to successfully implement vehicle-to-grid charging. The company’s Electric Flatbed Utility Truck (pictured) uses Coritech Services’ bi-directional DC Fast Charger System.

Compressed natural gas- and dimtethyl ether-powered Volvo VNL trucks were on display last week at the Alternative Clean Transportation Expo, North America’s largest alternative fuel and clean vehicle technology conference. Volvo announced June 6 that it would commercialize DME-powered vehicles in 2015 as part of its comprehensive “Blue Power” alternative fuels strategy for North America.

Ryder System has begun to take delivery of 39 light- and medium-duty compressed natural gas vehicles, the first of their kind in North America available for lease or rent. The vehicles include 20 Greenkraft cab-over vehicles with 6.0-liter GM natural gas engines and 19 Navistar International TranStar trucks with Cummins Westport ISL G engines.

DirecTV is to expand its fleet of 77 Roush CleanTech Ford E-250 propane autogas vans.  Since its propane autogas vehicle deployment in November 2011, DirecTV has reduced gasoline consumption by 75,000 gallons and saved nearly 50 percent on a cost per gallon basis compared to gasoline, the company says.

Schneider Electric is providing a customized electric vehicle EVlink DC quick charging station for Toyota Motorsport. The EVlink charging station will be used to charge the TMG EV P002, which entered the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado on June 30.

Plug Power has launched the GenDrive 1900, its highest-power fuel cell yet. The GenDrive 1900 is designed as a drop-in replacement for lead-acid batteries on six-ton capacity, four-wheel, class-one counterbalanced forklift trucks.

Fuel Systems Solutions’ IMPCO Automotive division will convert 650 MVP Ford F350 trucks to run on dedicated CNG fuel systems for communications firm AT&T.  The chassis cab one tons are equipped with Ford’s gaseous prepped 6.2L engine and will leave IMPCO Automotive’s Union City, Ind., high volume production facility with 25GGE of CNG before transportation for the utility body installation.

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