Ryder System, Inc., a leader in commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions, announced in March that it reached a key milestone in a major alternative fuel initiative with the order of 202 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles.

Ryder will also begin work soon to upgrade the first of three existing maintenance facilities in its network to be properly equipped for the indoor servicing of natural gas vehicles and will soon commence construction of two natural gas fueling stations.

“This project reinforces our ongoing commitment to deliver environmentally sound and cost effective transportation solutions, while serving as a model for how to successfully implement alternative fuel programs in large commercial truck operations,” said Robert Sanchez, president of global fleet management solutions for Ryder.

The vehicle order is part of Ryder’s agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to launch a groundbreaking heavy-duty natural gas truck rental and leasing project in Southern California. The SANBAG project is being conducted in partnership with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Clean Cities Coalition. It is intended to increase the use of domestically produced alternative fuels and reduce emissions by bolstering the existing regional infrastructure in Southern California.

When fully implemented, the project will displace more than 1.5 million gallons of diesel annually with 100 percent domestically produced low-carbon natural gas. The project will contribute to the maintenance and creation of more than 400 U.S. green automotive jobs located in regions of the country that have been the hardest hit by the recent economic downturn. Based on estimates using California’s Carl Moyer program guidelines, the project will reduce more than 9.2 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year and more than 131 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions annually as well as completely eliminate 2.65 tons of diesel particulate emissions from local neighborhoods.

The $38.7-million project will be funded as part of a joint public/private industry partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, and Ryder. “This project is a great illustration of the potential for success when the right project partners assemble and work as a team,” said SANBAG President and San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt.  

All 202 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles will be equipped with RydeSmartŪ

All 202 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles will be equipped with RydeSmartŪ, Ryder’s proprietary GPS fleet location, tracking and vehicle performance management system. Credit: Ryder

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