Ryder System Inc. announced it was recognized as a Clear Air Champion by the Tucson and Phoenix Clean Cities Coalition at the Arizona Clean Cities Coalitions’ Legislative Breakfast, which was held recently at the Arizona State Capital. Ryder was honored as a major contributor to the development of alternative fuel vehicle technologies in the state of Arizona. Bobby Stewart, Ryder group director of national sales, accepted the award on behalf of Ryder.
In September 2011, Golden Eagle Distributors Inc., a Ryder full-service lease customer based in Tucson, announced it would convert its entire heavy-duty fleet of 22 diesel-powered delivery vehicles in Tucson to compressed natural gas vehicles from Ryder. Golden Eagle’s decision to switch to natural gas was part of a strategic alternative fuel program focused on reducing transportation-generated emissions and reducing fuel costs. Ryder helped Golden Eagle through the process of understanding how the CNG vehicles could meet the needs of its loads and drivers while providing a cost-savings over the long term. Throughout the process, Ryder evaluated the natural gas vehicle technology for Golden Eagle and configured and acquired the vehicles specific to Golden Eagle’s requirements.
Ryder became the first fleet provider to offer heavy-duty natural gas vehicles for the leasing and rental industry through a groundbreaking natural gas vehicle project with the San Bernardino Associated Governments in Southern California announced in 2010. The Ryder/SANBAG project is part of a joint public/private partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, California Energy Commission, San Bernardino Associated Governments, Southern California Association of Governments and Ryder. The $38.7 million effort includes a total of 202 natural gas vehicles available for lease or rent; three strategically located natural gas-compliant maintenance shops in Rancho Dominguez, Orange and Fontana; and two fueling stations. At completion, the Ryder/SANBAG project will displace more than 1.5 million gallons of diesel annually with 100 percent domestically-produced low-carbon natural gas. Since announcing the SANBAG project in April 2010, Ryder has expanded its natural gas vehicle offerings to Tucson and Livonia and Grand Rapids, Mich.
“Ryder has been a member of the Tucson Clean Cities Coalition for two years, and we’re proud to work with Clean Cities to help reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels through clean alternative fuel projects,” says Scott Perry, vice president of supply management, Fleet Management Solutions, Ryder. “There are significant benefits in using a domestically produced fuel source such as natural gas that is less expensive, cleaner and more environmentally friendly. Ryder is committed to leading the industry in making heavy duty natural gas vehicles available for our customers.”
The two Arizona Clean Cities Coalitions are among the 80 coalitions across the United States, chartered by DOE for the purpose of advancing two major U.S. initiatives: The Clean Air Act to help reduce air pollution, and the Energy Policy act to help reduce dependence on foreign oil. Clean Cities is a voluntary DOE program to expand the use of alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuel, accelerate the use of alternative fuel vehicles and build a local refueling infrastructure for these vehicles.