Harry Carver, a FedEx contractor based in Tyler (Texas) who drives nine routes from Longview to Kilgore and over 36,000 miles per year, has recently purchased a CNG-powered Ford F-59 Step Van for his fleet of 14 trucks and plans to acquire four more. The vehicle makes 90 stops a day and is equipped to carry 250 boxes – it’s no issue with the 1,000 cubic feet of space in the back, two shelves and a rollup door.
Carver said he read about different fuel options when his local Ford dealer told him about a demo truck equipped with the dedicated Westport WiNG™ Power System. He also explained that the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program, an incentive program operated through the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan — was one of the key factors in deciding to transition his fleet to CNG.
According to the program, the grant provides reimbursement of up to 90 per cent of the incremental cost for replacement or repower of medium and heavy duty vehicles greater than 8500 lbs gross vehicle weight (GVW). The initiative is intended to encourage owners and operators of heavy-duty or medium-duty vehicles to convert vehicles to natural gas or replace vehicles with a new NGV.
“It’s getting over seven miles to the gallon, 7.1 or 7.2. And the motor oil when you check it, it’s all clean,” Carver added. The vehicle refuels at the local Independence Fuel Systems station. However, the city of Tyler is converting its garbage trucks to CNG and he is optimistic more filling stations will come online nearby.