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Commentary: Does Range Anxiety Scare You Away?

July 9, 2015

Many fleets initially object to new technologies for a wide variety of reasons, many of which can be resolved with simple clarifications of fact versus what their perception may be. One of the most common concerns for heavy duty transport applications seems to be range anxiety.

Simply put, all motorized vehicles have range limitations. To be honest, it doesn't matter whether it's gasoline, diesel, or natural gas!

A common comment we hear from fleets is that natural-gas vehicles don't carry enough fuel, therefore, they can't travel nearly as far as their existing diesel fleets. This is false. With proper tank package configurations, a natural-gas vehicle can adequately provide the mileage necessary to successfully complete your delivery requirements. LNG vehicles can carry as much as 600 to 700 miles of fuel on board. Surely drivers will need to stop for a break before they drive that far!

CNG vehicles commonly carry 300 to 400 miles of fuel, which is still enough to travel the distance they achieve with diesel or gasoline on any given shift. The main issue causing range anxiety is that with diesel, the accepted practice is to carry enough fuel to last multiple shifts over multiple days of driving. This reduces the amount of time the drivers need to stop and refuel at stations that are not affiliated with their fleet, which are often more costly. There is simple solution to achieve necessary mileage requirements if a natural-gas powered unit will not be returning to a standard base of operation. Routes can be routed differently and arranged to accommodate necessary fueling stops to coincide with the limitations of the vehicle's on board capacity. Although this may seem like a significant undertaking, in many cases it is not. Most large fleets already employ very sophisticated fleet management software that can easily provide the tools to plan routes for a comparable natural gas vehicle. This is a small price to pay given the significant economic and environmental benefits offered by operating on natural gas.

When given the choice, a simple operational alteration in exchange for lower operating costs, lower emissions and the pride of running on domestic fuel seems pretty simple.

Natural Gas Vehicle News

Raven Transport adds heavy-duty natural gas vehicles to meet sustainability goals

Raven Transport, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based truckload carrier, is expanding it fleet with 115 Peterbilt Model 579s powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) to haul goods for a leading consumer packaged goods company. The natural gas fleet will operate on irregular routes originating from production plants and distribution centers in the southeast and is forecasted to consume approximately 2.4 million additional diesel gallon equivalent (DGEs) of LNG annually.

New Emission, Fuel Standards for Trucks May Benefit NGVs

The use of natural gas vehicles (NGV) and other alternative fuel heavy duty trucks may get a boost from the second round of joint federal greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel efficiency standards released on Friday, according to industry and environmental groups.

Pepsi's CEO really wants you to know her company loves the environment

Nooyi highlighted PepsiCo’s efforts to reduce its delivery fleet emissions. PepsiCo operates 267 electric-powered vehicles, 272 hybrid diesel-electric trucks, 331 compressed natural gas trucks, and 67 hybrid gasoline-electric vans.

Clean Diesel Truck Share Tops 37 Percent

More than 37 percent of all diesel medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks registered in the U.S. are now equipped with newer technology clean diesel engines (2007-MY or newer with near-zero particulate emissions), according to new data compiled by IHS Automotive for the Diesel Technology Forum.


Fuel Price News

Oil Prices Surge Ahead of U.S. Inventory Data

Oil prices reversed course today, surging to their highest point in nearly a week amid a rebound in oil products ahead of U.S. inventory data. Light, sweet crude for delivery in August, which became the front-month contract today, recently surged to gains of 76 cents, or 1.26%, to $61.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Why Our Oil Price Forecast Just Moved Higher

The demand for oil is absorbing inventory much more quickly than anticipated," Moors told Money Morning readers on April 8. "Much of the demand surge is driven by pent-up needs from developing industrialization and economic diversification. Some is the result of changing energy trading patterns, and a fair amount is from the simple dynamic that markets use more energy as the price declines."

Crude Supplies Coming Down, Oil Prices Going Up, Trader Predicts

Crude oil has been trading within a tight range during the past quarter as demand has not been strong enough to meet the supply glut, and yet oil prices could reach $70 in July, according to one options trader.

T. Boone Pickens: $70 Crude Oil Coming

T. Boone Pickens, BP Capital Management Chairman said we should take advantage of America’s energy, as it is the cheapest in the world. And he warned that U.S. consumers are becoming too complacent with cheap gasoline prices because he believes oil will rebound to the $70 per barrel level by the end of the year.

2015 Could Be the Year of Peak Oil

There has been a lot of discussion on this blog lately as to whether US crude production, in the last few months has been up or down. The EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report has U.S production soaring in 2015, reaching new highs almost every week. However the EIA’s own Drilling Productivity Report has shale oil, the source of almost all US production gains, peaking in April with an increasing decline in May, June and July. And reports from individual states seem to indicate that the decline started even earlier.

About Mansfield Energy Corp:

For 60 years, Mansfield has been creatively solving commercial, industrial, and municipal customers’ most demanding energy procurement, supply, and logistics challenges. Today, the company provides energy commodities and related services to 6,000 customers in 18,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada. The company’s expertise covers a broad range of transportation and facilities energy from traditional petroleum products, CNG, renewable fuels, and specialty chemicals to power and natural gas. Mansfield employees are committed to their customers’ success, abiding by five core principles - Integrity, Excellence, Conscientiousness, Innovation, and Personal Service. The company is headquartered in Gainesville, GA (just north of Atlanta) with regional operations centers located in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Bloomington, MN, and Calgary, Alberta Canada.

For more information about Mansfield, call 800-695-6626, or visit our website at http://mansfield.energy.