For Immediate Release: July 2, 2010
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989


CA Energy Commission Boosts Cutting-Edge Trucks
and Buses with Nearly $20 Million
Natural Gas, Electric and Hybrid Technologies Demonstrated with State, Federal,
and Private Funds

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission approved 11 awards that leverage almost $20 million in state funding with $9.3 million in federal stimulus money and $39 million in private funds. These projects will demonstrate the possibilities for cutting-edge natural gas-powered, hybrid, and electric trucks and buses to reduce petroleum use, cut pollution and provide jobs.

"California's investment in alternative fuels and technology will leverage nearly two-and-a-half times as much money for an important part of our transportation sector," said Energy Commissioner Anthony Eggert. "While electric and hybrid cars get much of the media attention, advances in large, heavy-duty trucks and buses can replace millions of gallons of petroleum each year."

Here is a summary of the 11 projects, their costs and benefits:

  • By far the largest award - a combined total of more than $35.6 million - will go to the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), a council of 24 city governments and San Bernardino County which serves as the area's transportation planning agency. It is partnering with Ryder Truck Transport Services to purchase and deploy up to 262 heavy-duty natural gas trucks and to construct two liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling stations. The Energy Commission, using funds from its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Transportation program, will provide $9,308,000 to pay the difference between the natural gas-powered trucks and the typical vehicle that would operate on petroleum. The US Department of Energy will also provide $9,308,000 in federal stimulus funding from the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. An additional match of $17,062,737 will be provided by the project's participants, who include, in addition to SANBAG and Ryder Trucks, the Southern California Clean Cities program, and Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, an environmental consulting firm.

    The LNG-powered trucks will displace over 2 million gallons of petroleum-based diesel fuel per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 30 percent and cutting area emissions by more than 7,600 tons of CO2 per year. The project will provide work for 82 construction workers and create 346 California maintenance and service support jobs.
  • The Energy Commission will provide $2,100,000 in funds from its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Transportation program to develop a hybrid, heavy-duty commercial vehicle that operates on both electricity and natural gas. Daimler Trucks, the largest commercial heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America, will install the hybrid drive system on a Freightliner M2 heavy-duty commercial frame. The Freightliner M2 platform can be adapted for local and long-distance hauling, as well as refuse collection, utility operations and even school buses. Daimler projects that every 1,000 trucks placed into service will create 130 maintenance and support jobs and will reduce emissions by 43,860 tons of CO2 as they displace 8 million gallons of diesel fuel. Daimler forecasts that 20,000 units will be operating in California by 2020.

    In addition to the Energy Commission's funding, the project participants will supply match funding of $3,153,452. Technical support partners in the project include the South Coast Air Quality Management District, BAE Systems for the axle hybrid electric drive system and California Cartage Company for demonstration of the trucks in Southern California.
  • The Energy Commission will provide $750,000, and Coca Cola Enterprises and other participants will supply $1,250,000 in matching funds, for a project to demonstrate four heavy-duty hydraulic-hybrid delivery vehicles. The hydraulic-hybrid system stores braking energy in urban driving, and could potentially match the fuel-saving benefits of an electric-hybrid vehicle. The goal of the project is to increase fuel efficiency by 40 to 50 percent on large urban delivery vehicles; each truck should save 5,200 gallons of petroleum diesel each year and reduce emissions by 82 tons of CO2 annually. Approximately 40 jobs will be maintained or created to build the trucks, and additional jobs will be created within each of the companies involved with this project, which include Coca Cola; Parker Hannifin Corporation, designer and builder of the hydraulic-hybrid system; the Freightliner Truck Division of Daimler Trucks North America, provider of the chassis and power train; Cummins, the engine provider, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, manager of the project.
  • For heavy-duty class 8 trucks, the Kenworth Truck Company will demonstrate a hybrid electric drive system that uses a natural-gas powered micro-turbine. The Energy Commission will provide $1,458,735 in Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology funds, to be matched by $1,603,325 from the project's participants. FedEx will use the natural-gas powered hybrid in their on-going operations starting in 2012. The project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 46 tons and diesel fuel by 13,800 gallons per truck per year. At full commercialization, this project can create over 6,000 high tech and green tech jobs in California by 2025 to 2030. Other participants include the Southern California Gas Company; Clean Energy, the fuel supplier; Capstone Turbine Corporation; Brayton Energy LLC; Arvin Meritor, provider of the hybrid drive system; and CALSTART, program management for the project.
  • The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and Cummins Westport will demonstrate a unique, low-emission, high efficiency natural-gas engine designed for regional hauling and heavy vocational truck applications. Swift Transportation will demonstrate one engine in a class 8 highway tractor for 12 months. The Energy Commission will provide $1,777,364 for the project, while additional match funding of $3,600,000 will be provided by the project participants. The new engine should improve fuel economy up to 10 percent from current spark-ignited natural-gas powered engines used in Class 8 trucks. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 25 percent and fuel use by at least 20 percent or the equivalent of 10,770 diesel gallons per truck annually.
  • ISE Corporation will receive $888,595 in Energy Commission funding to produce a battery-electric 45-foot transit bus for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LAMTA). ISE will replace the engine and fuel tank with an electric drive system and lithium ion batteries. ISE and LAMTA will provide matching funds of $1,150,000. Each battery-electric bus will reduce CO2 emissions by 68 percent over a standard bus and will reduce diesel consumption by more than 8,000 gallons per year. The projected ramp-up in commercial sales of lithium battery packs and electric drive systems will create 22 jobs in 2010, nearly 60 by 2012, and 132 by 2015. If the demonstration is successful, LAMTA is expected to purchase 30 to 40 buses per year on average.
  • In another public transit project, the Energy Commission will provide $1,345,552 for Motiv Power System to incorporate its electric-drive system in a class 4 shuttle bus, giving it a 100-mile all-electric range. Motiv's system uses battery packs designed by Berkeley-based Seeo Inc. for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fleets. The shuttle itself will be operated by Bauer Worldwide Transportation on its Bay-area and Silicon Valley routes. The three participants will supply matching funds of $1,345,552 for the project. Over eight years, the electric bus is expected to save 40,000 gallons of diesel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 435 tons. The project will directly provide support for 19 high-tech positions between Motiv, Bauer, and Seeo, with many more possible as the technology develops.
  • Terex will demonstrate its innovative HyPowerTM Hybrid system in 12 medium and heavy-duty PG&E utility service vehicles. Instead of running the engine to power the aerial boom, cabin heating and air conditioning, and worksite lighting on the vehicles, the electric-hybrid system provides power, cutting fuel use by as much as 60 percent. The fleet of 12 vehicles is expected to reduce fuel consumption by 10,000 gallons annually. Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 110 tons per year. During the term of the project, over 30 jobs should be created and retained. The Energy Commission will provide the project with $494,678 in Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Transportation funds, while Terex, PG&E and research partner CALSTART will provide $2,360,000.
  • Electric Vehicles International, LLC will create a medium-duty electric vehicle that uses an LNG-powered motor and generator to extend its range. The powertrain will be integrated into 10 medium-duty pickup trucks owned by PG&E. The Energy Commission will provide $1,153,053 for the project. Match funding of $2,839,777 will be provided by partners EVI; PG&E; Light Engineering, supplier of the motor and generator; Valence Technology,the battery provider; and Altec Industries, a provider of engineering support. Compared to one of today's diesel-powered medium-duty vehicles, each range-extended electric vehicle will use 3,333 gallons less fuel each year, saving $10,000 in fuel costs and producing 74,000 fewer pounds of CO2 annually. This project will create 20 new green jobs in one of the nation's hardest hit regions, Stockton, California, which has an unemployment rate of 16.9 percent, and many more jobs will be available when vehicle production increases.
  • In the central San Joaquin Valley, the City of Lemoore and the Lemoore School District will partner to develop a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station that will be open to the public 24 hours a day and serve both the City and School District's vehicles. Both fast filling and slow filling options will be available. The Energy Commission will provide $200,000 for the project, while the two partners will supply $465,405. Concerned with severe localized health impact issues from existing diesel school buses, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will provide technical assistance. Lemoore plans to replace its existing fleet with natural gas vehicles over the next five years, and wants to produce much of its needed natural gas from the local wastewater treatment plant. The new school buses will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent over diesel vehicles, cutting emissions by approximately 32 tons between 2012 and 2020. Lemoore's fleet is expected to displace over 444,680 gallons of petroleum-based diesel fuel between 2012 and 2020. The project will provide approximately 12 short-term construction jobs and two long-term jobs at the station.
  • The Energy Commission will provide $500,000 to the Sacramento Regional Transit District to install three CNG dispensers at its bus maintenance facility. The fueling station will also be available to Twin Rivers Unified School District and neighboring transit agencies. Partners will provide $4,200,000 in matching funds. The new fueling station will support the existing natural gas bus fleet and its expansion over the next few years. The CNG-powered buses supported by the station will displace over 2.6 million gallons of petroleum-based diesel fuel each year, in the process producing 21 percent fewer emissions than similar diesel vehicles and reducing emissions by more than 7,600 tons of CO2 per year.

Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007) created the California Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The statute, subsequently amended by Assembly Bill 109 (Núñez, Chapter 313, Statutes of 2008), authorizes the Energy Commission to develop and deploy alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies to help attain the state's climate change policies.

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