Ryder System, Inc. begun to take delivery of 39 light- and medium-duty trucks powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). The lessor said these are the first vehicles of their kind in North America available for lease or rent.

The purchase consists of 20 Greenkraft cab-over trucks powered by 6.0L GM engines and 19 International TranStar trucks powered by Cummins Westport ISL G engines  supplied by Navistar.

"We are very pleased to work with Ryder to develop these CNG-powered truck chassis," said Kevin Keene, Sales Director for Navistar (NAV). "By offering CNG-powered trucks in a medium duty configuration, Ryder is demonstrating its dedication to making natural gas commercial vehicles available for this important market segment."

According to Ryder, the CNG trucks range in GVW ratings from 16,000 to 33,000 lbs and are available for lease or rent in California. The lessor said these vehicles are “ideal for metro/city delivery applications. Unlike heavy-duty natural gas vehicles, which require fueling stations designed to accommodate large commercial tractor-trailers, these lighter vehicles are able to access much of the existing retail CNG fueling infrastructure, which will increase their usability to a broader range of commercial fleet customers in California.”

These initial 39 trucks will be maintained at Ryder’s natural gas-compliant California maintenance facilities in Orange, Fontana, Rancho Dominguez and West Sacramento. However, the lessor noted these vehicle configurations are now available as part of its “growing portfolio of offerings in all markets where Ryder services natural-gas vehicles.”

Funding for the incremental cost of the vehicles was provided by the California Energy Commission and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC). Ryder said these grants enable it to make the cost of renting or leasing CNG vehicles “more comparable to traditional diesel trucks.”

The new light- and medium-duty vehicles join Ryder’s existing fleet of over 300 heavy-duty natural gas-fueled vehicles