Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles US LLC (FCA) is investing $40 million in its FCA Transport unit to convert its fleet of 179 parts-haulers to run on compressed natural gas.
FCA said the investment will make FCA Transport the largest private fleet of CNG–powered heavy-duty vehicles in the state of Michigan.
"Our transition to CNG reflects the way FCA U.S. attempts to balance our search for profitability with social responsibility and community development, including environmental stewardship," said Steve Beahm, senior vice president of supply chain management at FCA North America.
"This project was a win-win-win – it offered a solid business case, clear environmental benefits and an opportunity to invest in our Detroit facility and workforce," he added."
Agility Fuel Systems will provide behind-the-cab fuel systems for the conversions. The fuel systems have a capacity of 160 DGE (diesel gallons equivalent) and an operating range of over 600 miles. Agility, Cummins and Allison Transmission has helped train FCA Transport’s drivers and mechanics.
"Today is the culmination of two years of research and planning, an extensive pilot program of CNG trucks and ongoing training of more than 6,000 hours,” said Marty DiFiore, head of FCA Transport and Auto Transport Services.
The company spent $1.8 million to outfit its 36,000 square-foot maintenance facility to handle the new CNG-powered fleet. FCA will use a $5 million on-site CNG fueling station, designed and built by TruStar Energy. It is the largest private CNG station in North America, the company said.