In a resolution presented at its regular business meeting, the Commission said Baytech Corporation -- by developing a kit that easily converts vehicles from gasoline or diesel to compressed natural gas fuel -- "illustrates a successful public- private alliance as envisioned under Governor Wilson's California Competes initiative."
Baytech received almost $67,000 in 1993 from the Commission's Transportation Energy Technologies Advancement Program (TETAP) to demonstrate and develop the system. It has since emerged as one of three suppliers of low-cost, dedicated natural gas vehicle conversion kits in California.
United Parcel Service, in a recent business move, used the Baytech product to convert its entire van fleet in the Tri-Valley corridor of the San Francisco Bay Area, from diesel to natural gas. Baytech had supplied a conversion kit on a UPS delivery van with a 35 to 46 mile daily route in San Francisco during its product's demonstration phase.
Baytech's conversion kit uses existing emission control systems of a 4.3 liter General Motors engine. Only a minimum of additional electronics is required to convert vehicles to natural gas power. The kit's flexibility potentially saves up to $500 in conversion costs per vehicle.
The Commission resolution stressed that use of the kit has resulted in fuel savings of 10 percent to 20 percent and at least 30 percent reduction of emissions in California-certified 4.3 liter GM engines in manual transmission vehicles built before 1994.
In the resolution presented to Baytech president Rebecca Royer, the Energy Commission also recognized the company as the first of five TETAP funded projects to go commercial. The Commission said the company's success advances the state's alliance with the private sector in the effort "to diversify transportation fuel use in California and improve air quality while creating new businesses and jobs to sustain California's economy."
TETAP funds come from a federal escrow account paid by oil companies that overcharged consumers in the 1970s. TETAP awarded funds are repaid only if the technology becomes a commercial success and generates sales.
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