The benefits of natural gas vehicles for commercial fleets was recently touted by Ryder System through several open house events in Southern California that allowed customers and other local businesses to meet with Ryder alternative fuel vehicle specialists and test drive both heavy-duty and medium-duty natural gas vehicles.

Three different configurations of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles were available to test drive — a Peterbilt tandem axle tractor, a Freightliner single axle tractor, and a GreenKraft light duty straight truck.

Ryder is also setting appointments to test drive the vehicles for anyone who was unable to attend the open house events.  To make a follow up appointments to test drive the vehicles call 1-800-793-3765. The test drives are available through the month of November.

“The great turnout at these events demonstrates the continued and growing interest in natural gas vehicle technologies for commercial fleets,” said Scott Perry, vice president, Supply Management, Fleet Management Solutions, for Ryder.

Through a partnership with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) and the Southern California Assn. of Governments (SCAG) Clean Cities Coalition Ryder has deployed of 202 heavy-duty natural gas-powered vehicles available to customers for rent or lease or through Ryder’s dedicated logistics services.

As part of the project, Ryder is building two natural gas fueling stations and has equipped three maintenance facilities for the indoor servicing of natural gas vehicles in Fontana, Orange, and Rancho Dominguez. The $38.7 million project is being funded as part of a joint public/private industry partnership between the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the California Energy Commission, and Ryder.

Ryder’s natural gas fleet includes both compressed and liquefied natural gas vehicles that are currently deployed in customer operations in California, Arizona, and Michigan.

In addition to making natural gas vehicles available for rent or lease, Ryder also offers a “Flex-to-Green Lease” designed to ease the transition to a greener fleet. Businesses that opt for Ryder’s Flex-to-Green Lease start out with a diesel-powered vehicle and then have the option to convert to a natural gas vehicle after one year.

For additional information about Ryder’s natural gas vehicle program, call 1-800-793-3765 or visit www.ryder.com/alternativefuels.