PG&E adds liquid natural gas trucks to fleet

SAN FRANCISCO – Pacific Gas and Electric Company today announced that it has added five Class 8 heavy-duty liquid natural gas (LNG) trucks to its alternative fuel fleet.

PG&E is the first utility in the nation to put the Kenworth T800 LNG-powered trucks into service. The effort is part of the company’s commitment to reduce its environmental footprint and improve California’s air quality.

“Natural gas is one of the cleanest alternative fuels available today,” said David Meisel, director of transportation services at PG&E. “The Kenworth LNG-powered trucks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 20 percent over equivalent diesel engines. We’re thrilled to be adding these LNG trucks to our fleet and for the environmental benefits it will provide to the communities in which we live and work.”

PG&E purchased the Class 8 heavy-duty trucks from Bay Area Kenworth as diesel units and collaborated on the upgrade to liquid natural gas operation with Kenworth and Westport Innovations Inc., a leader in the development of natural gas engines and fuel systems.

The unique fuel system developed and manufactured by Westport and called High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI), uses a small amount of diesel to ignite the natural gas in the engine and provides diesel-equivalent torque, horsepower and a range of 400-450 miles. The result is reduced NOx, Particulate Matter and greenhouse gas emissions and less reliance on diesel fuel by running the cleaner LNG fuel.

The LNG-powered trucks are based at PG&E’s Fremont service warehouse from where all the utility’s supplies are shipped and are being put into service for routes to Fresno, Marysville, Ukiah and Templeton.

Four of the Class 8 LNG trucks will be used for two shifts per day, representing approximately 800 miles per day per truck. Using LNG will cut the fuel costs for these trucks by approximately 50 percent. The fifth LNG truck serves as a customer demonstration truck to educate PG&E’s large trucking customers about the economic and environmental benefits of LNG-powered heavy-duty trucks.

PG&E operates 36 natural gas fueling stations throughout its northern and central California service territory, 27 of which are open to the public. The new LNG-powered trucks fuel up at PG&E’s Fremont Service Center from a proven above-ground LNG fueling system produced by Chart Industries, a leader in the development of safe LNG fueling systems.

In addition, PG&E utilizes a mobile trailer mounted system for LNG vehicle fueling which is also manufactured by Chart Industries. A significant benefit of LNG fuel stations is that LNG is non-toxic, non-corrosive and poses no risk of ground contamination unlike conventional liquid fuels.

For nearly two decades, PG&E has been advocating alternative transportation technologies including electric, fuel cell and natural gas vehicles. With more than 1,300 vehicles, PG&E maintains one of the largest utility natural gas fleet in the nation and has helped more than three hundred fleet customers adopt alternative transportation methods.

Over the last 15 years, PG&E’s clean fuel fleet has displaced more than 3.4 million gallons of gasoline and diesel, and helped to avoid 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

For more information about PG&E, visit the company’s Web site at