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Green Fleet Roundup: Toyota, Panasonic, Tesla, Navistar, Volvo Trucks

toyotaToyota will display a concept version of its fuel cell vehicle scheduled for launch around 2015 at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of the month. The FCV Concept (pictured) has a driving range of at least 500 km (310 miles) and refueling times as low as three minutes, roughly the same time as for a gasoline vehicle, Toyota says.

Panasonic will expand its supply of automotive-grade lithium-ion battery cells to Tesla Motors in an update to the companies’ 2011 agreement. The lithium-ion battery cells purchased from Panasonic will be used to power the Model S as well as Model X, a performance utility vehicle that is scheduled to go into production by the end of 2014.

Universal LNG Solutions has placed a blanket purchase order for 900 Westport iCE PACK liquid natural gas tank systems to be delivered over the next two years. The iCE PACK is an on-board LNG tank system customized for spark-ignited engines, and designed to meet the demands of today’s trucking fleets by providing increased range, longer hold times and faster fueling times. Westport expects to begin shipping to Universal in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Navistar’s International LoneStar on-highway tractor with Cummins ISX15 engine and Selective Catalytic Reduction emissions technology is now available for order. The LoneStar is the company’s final heavy-duty Class 8 on-highway truck model to incorporate SCR emissions technology since Navistar began its SCR transition in December 2012.

Clean Energy Fuels has placed a purchase contract on property in Jacksonville, Fla., where it hopes to build a liquefied natural gas fuel terminal. This would be the first LNG facility on the Eastern seaboard to specifically supply LNG for the maritime, heavy-duty trucking and rail industries, the company says. The planned facility is slated to be the the first project to be developed by Eagle LNG Partners, a consortium of Clean Energy, GE Ventures, GE Energy Financial Services and Ferus Natural Gas Fuels.

Air Liquide Japan and Toyota Tsusho have signed a joint venture agreement to build two hydrogen filling stations near Aichi, Japan. Both will be for public use, supplying hydrogen for future fuel cell electric vehicles, the companies say.

Volvo Trucks has launched eight trucks in its Optimized Series that the company says increase fuel efficiency and payload capacity, and weigh less than other trucks.

Aviation Partners Boeing has announced the order of 111 firm Split Scimitar Winglet Systems for Boeing next-generation 737 aircraft by Alaska Airlines. Alaska estimates that due to the drag-reducing winglets the company will save another $20 million in annual fuel costs. These fuel savings will also translate into an environmental benefit by reducing Alaska Airlines’ CO2 output by more than 68,000 tons per year.

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