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TruStar Energy Lowers Commercial Fueling Cost in Orlando by Opening Its First Public CNG Fueling Station

July 21, 2015 by Clean Cities

Company Capitalizes on Market Shift to CNG Fuel

(ORLANDO, FL) July 21, 2015 – TruStar Energy, one of the nation’s leading developers of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling stations, announced today that it has opened its first TruStar Energy-branded public CNG fueling station in Orlando, Florida. Located in a heavy truck traffic corridor, the 24/7 CNG fast-fill station is capable of fueling several hundred vehicles a day and promises to deliver lower fueling cost and reduced transportation-related emissions to the
Orlando area.

“We continue to see a shift taking place in North America where more commercial vehicles are running on CNG—it’s cheaper, cleaner, quieter running, and domestically abundant and produced. As a result, the company has embarked on a strategic path to open dozens of TruStar Energy public CNG stations over the next several years—Orlando is our first,” said TruStar Energy President, Adam Comora. “Rest assured though, we will continue to provide the same outstanding design, construction, maintenance, and training services for private, public and government customers.”

From left to right:: Florida State Representative Victor Torres, Trustar President Adam Comora, US Congressman Daniel Webster, and TECO representative Keith Gruetzmacher. Backdrop is the City of Orlando CNG Refuse Truck.

From left to right:: Florida State Representative Victor Torres, Trustar President Adam Comora, US Congressman Daniel Webster, and TECO representative Keith Gruetzmacher. Backdrop is the City of Orlando CNG Refuse Truck.

“We identified Orlando as one of the best markets to build our first station, because it has a high volume of CNG vehicles and the potential to add many more,” remarked Scott Edelbach, General Manager of TruStar Energy. “Our state-of-the-art CNG station is perfectly located close to several major fleets as well as a heavy traffic corridor, making it a valuable, profitable and productive resource for businesses in the area.”

The new TruStar Energy CNG station at 8520 Exchange Drive, in the Orlando Central Park development, has four traffic lanes and two fueling islands, providing easy access for commercial vehicles and private CNG-powered consumer vehicles. Designed for future expansion, the station can accept two additional dispensers adding four more traffic lanes. The station is supplied by TECO Peoples Gas and accepts commercial fuel cards such as Comdata or Fuelman as well as all major credit cards.

“TruStar Energy’s team of experts were valuable partners in the construction of our Tampa and Ft. Meyers CNG fueling stations—those stations were built on time, on budget and there were no surprises,” said Jose Rivera, Vice President at J.J. Taylor, a Florida-based beer distributor. “The company’s investment in growing Florida’s CNG fueling infrastructure will provide fleets—like ours—the ability to extend our routes outside of our private station network—they should be applauded for undertaking this initiative.”

Fleets that run on CNG have lower exhaust and carbon emissions compared to diesel and gasoline. The average refuse truck uses 10,000 gallons of fuel each year, which is the carbon equivalent of burning 272 barrels of oil. By switching to natural gas, the carbon equivalent is cut to two barrels. Plus, natural gas engines have an average of 80 percent to 90 percent lower decibel level than diesel engines, and CNG is up to 50 percent less expensive than gasoline or diesel. CNG is also insulated from price volatility due to international conflicts and events, which in recent years has been responsible for dramatic price fluctuations for gasoline and diesel.

“By using domestically produced natural gas to fuel our transportation needs, we are not only creating and securing more American jobs, but also decreasing our dependence on foreign oil,” said Keith Gruetzmacher, Senior Manager of Alternative Fuel Vehicle Programs for TECO Peoples Gas. “TECO Peoples Gas is proud to partner with TruStar Energy to accelerate this clean, efficient and American fueling solution.”

To learn more about TruStar Energy’s CNG fueling station program, visit www.trustarenergy.com.

About TruStar Energy

TruStar Energy, a subsidiary of Fortistar, is the fastest growing compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station owner, constructor and service provider in North America. With decades of experience in trucking and fueling, the company’s professionals are experts at designing and building CNG fueling stations that are ready on time, on budget and are swiftly profitable for their owners. And with a rapidly growing network of public stations and 24/7 service and support, we’re always there when you need us.

TruStar Energy puts fleet owners in the driver’s seat by offering best-in-class, realistic and affordable options to meet a full range of fueling needs. For additional information, please visit www.trustarenergy.com and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

TruStar Energy: True Partnership. For a Change.
###
TruStar Energy Media Contact:
Andy Beck
Makovsky
abeck@makovsky.com
202-587-5634

 

Question of the Month: What factors affect fuel prices?

July 20, 2015 by Clean Cities

 
 
 

Feeling Pain at the Pump? Factors That Affect Fuel Prices

Source: EIA, Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update, July 13, 2015

Source: EIA, Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update, July 13, 2015

Source: EIA, Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update, July 13, 2015
Click to view larger

When gasoline and diesel prices spike, we often want to blame someone for our pain at the pump. The reality is that the oil industry is a complex market. Though there are numerous factors that could ultimately influence the price of fuel, such as weather, government policies, and international relations, there are four factors that have the most significant influence. These factors include the cost of crude oil, refining costs and profits, distribution and marketing costs, and fuel taxes. Alternative fuels, such as natural gas, propane, electricity, and biofuels, can mitigate some price fluctuations attributable to short-term events, like natural disasters, because they diversify the fuel supply. However, some alternative fuel prices are also dependent on similar factors.

In May 2015, the average retail price of regular grade gasoline was $2.72, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Below is a summary of the factors that affect gasoline prices, and the relative percentage of each component. We have also described how each of these factors may affect alternative fuel prices.

Crude Oil

As of May, approximately 51% of the cost of gasoline was related to the price of crude oil. The fluctuation in crude oil price is the biggest factor in the volatility of the price of gasoline, as the other costs (described below) are relatively static.

Crude oil prices are largely a product of supply and demand. Global demand has grown in recent years due to world economic growth and increased access to vehicles, particularly in developing nations. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which produced about 40% of the world’s crude oil between 2000 and 2014, also has significant influence on oil prices by setting production limits among members. Part of the reason oil prices have declined significantly since July 2014 is that OPEC nations are not limiting production, resulting in a global ‘glut’ of crude oil. Much of this glut stems from a surge in oil production in the United States and Canada over the last few years from unconventional sources, like shale. This price could change dramatically, however, if there is a major global supply disruption.

With the exception of electricity and natural gas, alternative fuel prices can also be impacted by the price of crude oil and the price and demand for petroleum products. Higher or lower demand for gasoline also influences ethanol demand, for example, and ethanol is closely linked to the price of gasoline, as shown in the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report. Biodiesel wholesale costs are largely influenced by the price of diesel. Propane costs historically tend to follow crude oil prices, though not to the same extent as other fuels, and change seasonally because of the demand for propane as heating fuel in the winter.

Alternative fuel prices are also affected by the applicable commodity price, though the impact varies by fuel. For example, the price of natural gas only comprises 20% of the compressed natural gas (CNG) price at the pump, according to the American Gas Association. Because natural gas is a relatively small percentage of the overall fuel price, a swing in the natural gas commodity prices has less of an effect on the CNG price at the pump. In addition, natural gas costs are typically regulated and less expensive than petroleum (on a gasoline gallon equivalent—or GGE—basis) and the infrastructure is independent of oil infrastructure.

Refining Costs and Profits

Crude oil must be refined into gasoline and diesel so it is compatible with vehicles. Refining oil takes energy and costs may vary based on the type and origin of the crude oil used in the process. In May, refinery costs and profits represented about 22% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline.

Alternative fuels, such as propane, natural gas, and biofuels, are also “refined” or otherwise altered before they can be used in vehicles. Propane is a by-product of crude oil refining and is also produced as a liquid from natural gas and oil wells. Propane from natural gas liquids does not require refining; however, it must go through a scrubbing process to remove contaminants, as well as a separation process. Natural gas is produced from natural gas and oil wells, and is also subject to a separation and treatment process to remove contaminants. It must also be compressed in order to be transported in major distribution pipelines. Biofuel production facilities are often called ‘biorefineries’ because they produce and refine crude biofuels at the same location.

Distribution and Marketing

Since many of us do not live next to oil refineries, gasoline and diesel must be transported to local fueling stations. This occurs through a sophisticated system of pipelines, trucks, or barges to a network of fuel terminals, which can also be referred to as a distribution rack. The distributors, also called jobbers, load and blend the gasoline and diesel with other products (e.g., ethanol, biodiesel) in tanker trucks, which is driven to your local retail outlets and placed in underground storage tanks. In every part of the supply chain there are costs associated with employee salaries and benefits, equipment, taxes, insurance, and other types of overhead. In May, these resulting costs equaled about 10% of the price of a gallon of gasoline.

Taxes

Finally, motor fuel taxes contribute to the construction and maintenance of the roads we use on a regular basis. In the early 1900s, state governments devised ways to collect taxes on each gallon of fuel to help cover these costs and increase revenue. In May, federal, state, and local taxes accounted for 17% of the average retail price of a gallon of gasoline. Federal excise taxes are currently $0.184 per gallon of gasoline or ethanol, and $0.244 per gallon of diesel or biodiesel. Propane and CNG are taxed at $0.183 per gallon of propane or GGE of CNG, and liquefied natural gas is taxed at $0.243 per gallon. The September Question of the Month blog will delve into this topic in more detail.

State and local fuel taxes vary widely by jurisdiction. Though motor fuel taxes are applied to each gallon of gasoline or diesel sold, alternative fuels can also be taxed on an energy equivalent basis with gasoline and/or diesel. Some states use alternatives to traditional state fuel taxes, such as annual fees for alternative fuel vehicles or taxes based on the number of miles traveled. Watch for the August Question of the Month blog for more information on these alternatives.

Though the alternative fuel supply chain differs slightly from conventional fuels, many of the same factors influencing oil prices also impact alternative fuels. Now when you fill up your vehicle, take a moment to think about all the infrastructure and people required to process and deliver fuel from the field to the pump.

2015 Vehicle Buyer’s Guide Available

February 20, 2015 by Clean Cities
Annual guide helps you compare and evaluate alternative fuel vehicles to make sound purchasing decisions

The Clean Cities 2015 Vehicle Buyer’s Guide is now available online and for order at no charge through the EERE Publication and Product Library. Consumers and fleet managers have relied on the annual guide for years as a comprehensive and unbiased source of information for evaluating alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) options. The 2015 version promises to meet, if not exceed, that tradition.

Today, hundreds of light-duty AFV and advanced technology vehicle models can be purchased. For example, the 2015 model year features nearly 200 AFV and hybrid electric vehicle models, including more than 80 flex-fuel vehicles. This guide provides model-specific information such as vehicle specifications, manufacturer suggested retail price, fuel economy, energy impact, and emissions. Drivers can use the information to identify options, compare vehicles, and make more informed purchase decisions.

2015buyingguideOf particular importance to fleet managers, AFVs not only reduce petroleum use and save on fuel costs but help meet federal, state, and municipal requirements for reducing carbon. In fact, there are now approximately 20 million light-duty AFVs on American roads.

For those who prefer to make vehicle evaluations and comparisons online, the Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Search tool on the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is convenient and interactive. The database includes medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as well. For a guide specific to medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, download the Clean Cities Guide to Alternative Fuel and Advanced Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles or order a copy through the EERE Publication and Product Library.

New AFV offerings roll out continuously, and neither the documents nor the database are absolutely inclusive. If you are aware of a new offering or model change, please alert the Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team so we can update the information.

blog post written by Kathryn Ruckman, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
For more information:
Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
technicalresponse@icfi.com800-254-6735

 

 

 

Central Florida “Most Improved” in Petroleum Reduction Nationwide

February 9, 2015 by Clean Cities
By Sherri Shields

 
The Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition was awarded first place for Most Improved Petroleum Reduction, among nearly 100 coalitions nationwide. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Coalitions advance the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security by supporting local actions to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation.

The Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition territory encompasses a 10-county area consisting of Brevard, Flagler, Indian River, Lake, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia Counties. The coalition had a 247 percent increase in petroleum reduction in 2013 compared to the previous year. The Most Improved award was announced at the annual Clean Cities Coordinator Workshop in December 2014.

Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition awarded Most Improved Petroleum Reduction among nearly 100 coalitions nationwide.

Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition awarded Most Improved Petroleum Reduction among nearly 100 coalitions nationwide.

“Fleet managers in our coalition region have been aggressively pursuing the full range of options available to increase fuel efficiency, including converting their gasoline vehicles to electric or hybrid, as well as employing idle reduction strategies,” said Colleen Kettles, coordinator of the Central Florida coalition. “We have also seen the opening of both public and private compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations in our region. And, believe or not, good old-fashioned car-pooling had a significant impact. But what has also contributed to our results is the willingness of fleet managers to report their efforts to us so we can include them in our annual report to the U.S. Department of Energy.”

The Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition is a non-profit corporation administered by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) at the Cocoa campus.

For more information about the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition, visit http://centralfloridacleancities.com/ or contact Colleen Kettles at ckettles@fsec.ucf.edu, 321-638-1004.

Should you charge customers for EV charging stations?

November 20, 2014 by Clean Cities

IMG_4751.JPG
Courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation

Is it a prohibited gift of public funds if the agency allows public employees and members of the public to charge their personal vehicle at an agency charging station without imposing a fee?

Can employees be provided with free charging as an employee benefit?
Should an agency require that employees enter into an employee agreement for use of the EV charging stations?

The gift of public funds consideration seems to be the biggest legal concern among government agencies, and there are two ways to analyze the issue. As a reminder, the gift of public funds prohibition in the Washington State Constitution (article 8, section 7) is mandatory and must be strictly observed. It prohibits a local government from giving “any money, or property, or loan[ing] its money, or credit to or in aid of any individual, association, company or corporation, except for the necessary support of the poor and infirm.”

The threshold question under the gift of public funds analysis is whether providing EV charging for personal vehicles is a “fundamental governmental purpose?” If yes, no gift of public funds occurs. If no, then the question turns to whether there is consideration and donative intent.

Self-Balancing All-Electric Motorcycle On The Road

November 10, 2014 by Clean Cities
Lit Motors C1

Stock photography by izmo, Inc.

The C-1–which may get a different name for production–is controlled by a steering wheel, but it does lean into corners like a traditional motorcycle, with gyroscopes reportedly capable of 6,000 pound-feet of torque keeping it upright.

In production trim, that stability is expected to come with 200 miles of driving range per charge, from just 8 kilowatt-hours of battery-pack capacity.

The first 500 are already spoken for, but $2,500 will get you one of the next 500, while $1,000 buys a spot further down the line.

 

 

 

Hybrid Vehicles Losing Their Competitive Edge

November 3, 2014 by Clean Cities
Toyota Camry Hybrid

2014.5 Toyota Camry Hybrid, Courtesy of Toyota

Gasoline-electric hybrids are losing their competitive edge over ther gasoline counterparts due to falling fuel prices and more efficient internal combustion engines, according to a five-year owner cost analysis by Vincentric.

The research firm studied the total cost of owning a hybrid, and found that 10 of the 31 hybrids included in the research were more cost-effective to own that their gasoline counterpart. The percentage of cost-effective hybrids has fallen to 32 percent from 39 percent in the 2013 study and 44 percent in the 2012 study.

The Lexus CT200h and the Toyota Avalon Hybrid returned impressive lower ownership costs with savings of over $7,600 and $3,200 respectively. Additional hybrids from Acura, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Lincoln, and Toyota also showed cost advantages, according to Vincentric.

However, when the costs to own and operate all 31 hybrid vehicles were taken into account, the average five-year cost-of-ownership for hybrids was $1,339 more than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

 

CNG Infrastructure & Report Webinar

September 10, 2014 by Clean Cities

IMG_2810.JPG
IMG_2813.JPG

When
Thursday, September 16th
3pm ET to 4:30pm ET.

Do you want to learn more about how much a compressed natural gas fueling station costs?

Clean Cities has been working closely with the CNG industry to create a report on the Costs Associated with CNG Vehicle Fueling Infrastructure (PDF file). This document provides an overview of the components of a station, factors that can affect the cost, and ballpark cost ranges. Look for the release of this document in early September.

Also, save the date for a Clean Cities CNG Infrastructure webinar on September 16th from 3-4:30pm ET. Mark Smith from the US Department of Energy and John Gonzales from the National Renewable Energy Lab will present an overview of the key components of a CNG station, how a CNG station works, and factors that affect the cost. Jeremy Talbot from Phoenix Energy will describe the design and costs of a CNG station on the smaller end of the design range. Graham Barker from ANGI Energy Systems will describe the design and costs of a larger CNG station example. During this webinar, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the presentations as well as the content of the related CNG infrastructure document.

This webinar is open to the general public, especially those considering CNG, and no pre-registration is required.

Where
URL:
https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join/
Conference number: PW8410847
Audience passcode: 3693493

Participants can join the event directly at:
https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PW8410847&p=3693493&t=c

Audio
888-807-9760
Participant passcode: 3693493

We recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox to access the webinar. Please be sure to visit this link in advance of the webinar, https://www.mymeetings.com/global/en/mslm_download.php, to make sure all the necessary plug-ins are installed so that your computer can access the webinar software properly.

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