3M announced it has successfully completed the NGV2-2007 certification process for its first compressed natural gas tank. The 21.5-inch by 60-inch inch tank is designed for light- and medium-duty pick-up trucks and corporate fleet vehicles.
3M’s tankcapitalizes on improvements in geometries and proprietary 3M Matrix Resin featuring nanosilica technology to deliver a solution that is lighter, offers greater capacity, and is more cost effective than similar tanks.
Initially, tanks will be available through five approved upfitters with whom 3M is collaborating. These companies include OEM Systems of Okarche, Okla.; Venchurs Vehicle Systems of Adrian, Mich.; Alternative Fuel Solutions of Mahaffey, Penn.; AVS of Salt Lake City, Utah; and World CNG of Kent, Wash.
The successful certification follows the 2012 announcement by 3M and Chesapeake Energy Corp. that the two would collaborate in designing, manufacturing and marketing a broad portfolio of CNG tanks for use in all sectors of the United States transportation market. 3M expects to announce certification of other geometries in the coming months.
Chesapeake is slated to become one of the first end users of the new 21.5-inch by 60-inch tank, which it will incorporate in its fleet vehicles. Chesapeake is currently converting its fleet of nearly 5,000 vehicles to run on natural gas.
In line with a broader commitment to CNG, 3M has also begun working with its transportation providers to utilize CNG on trucks carrying 3M products. 3M has already implemented a pilot program with Dart Transit Co. on dedicated routes, and anticipates others will follow.