Eight fleets were recently recognized for their use of natural gas vehicles. NGVAmerica and the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation (CVEF), two organizations dedicated to increasing use of natural gas-powered vehicles, presented their 2011 winners of the annual NGV (Natural Gas Vehicles) Achievement Awards. The winners included:

  • Waste Management Inc., Houston, TX: For achieving the milestone of deploying their 1,000th natural gas-powered truck, for their advancement of natural gas vehicle (NGV) and fueling technology and for their national advocacy of pro-NGV policies and programs. Waste Management recently committed to purchasing only natural gas-powered units.
  • Ryder System Inc., Miami, FL: For the inauguration of a $38.7-million joint public/private industry partnership project that has created the first large-scale, heavy-duty natural gas truck rental and leasing program in the country.
  • Giant Eagle Inc., Pittsburgh, PA: For opening its first two CNG (compressed natural gas) fueling stations, one that is available for consumer use, and the other for use by the company’s fleet of delivery trucks.
  • EQT, Pittsburgh, PA: For leadership in facilitating the development of public access CNG fueling stations and adoption of NGVs in southwestern Pennsylvania. According to the award presenters, EQT, one of the largest natural gas producers in the country, has assisted fleets in obtaining more than $6 million in state and federal grant funding.
  • Enviro Express Natural Gas, LLC, Bridgeport, CT: For opening the first LNG/CNG (liquefied natural gas/compressed natural gas) vehicle fueling station east of the Mississippi, located adjacent to I-95 in Bridgeport, CT.
  • Happy Cab Company, Omaha, NE: For significantly advancing the use of natural gas as a vehicular fuel by committing to convert 50 taxicabs, 25% of their fleet, to CNG.
  • Heckmann Corp., Coraopolis, PA: For showing leadership among suppliers in the natural gas exploration and production (E&P) sector by placing the single largest order for liquefied natural gas trucks by a U.S. customer. The company is transitioning their water- transportation fleet from diesel to natural gas with an initial order of 200 Peterbilt Model 367 LNG trucks.
  • Atlantic City Jitney Association (ACJA), Egg Harbor Township, NJ: For replacing 190 of their 13-year old gasoline shuttle buses – 100% of their fleet - with new CNG shuttle buses.

Three of the eight winners this year are based in Pennsylvania, which has been one of the hubs of U.S.-based shale oil and natural gas production. Oil and natural gas exploration and development in the U.S. has triggered significant growth in related industries, including the production of truck tractors and tanker trailers for use in the new oil fields.

For Polar Corp., for example, the biggest growth in tank trailer demand has come from the energy sector, specifically from companies engaged in crude oil and natural gas exploration. “The energy market is white hot,” Theodore “Ted” Fick, president & CEO of Polar, recently told Fleet Owner. “Rigs and wells are going up so fast that they need trucks and trailers to get from the drill site to a railhead or pipeline. There just isn’t any other infrastructure yet in place. Trucks are very flexible and can also move on to new sites as the exploration moves.”