In the U.S. State of Virginia, Richmond International Airport (RIC) has completed conversion of its entire EasyPark parking shuttle fleet – 21 shuttles in all – from diesel to environmentally-friendly Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The conversion to CNG represents an approximate $4.7 million investment in vehicles, a permanent fueling station, and related infrastructural improvements to support CNG use.
“We have received tremendous positive feedback from customers about the quieter and cleaner CNG-powered parking shuttles,” said airport president and CEO Jon E. Mathiasen, AAE. “With three years of CNG experience, it’s clear that converting to CNG was the right choice. The Airport is delivering a better product, enjoying savings on energy costs, reducing tailpipe emissions, and seeing reduced engine wear and tear on our shuttles.”
The transition from diesel- to CNG-powered vehicles for airport parking has had a net positive result. Compressed natural gas is the cleanest burning transportation fuel on the market today as it has less carbon content than petroleum-based options. CNG produces the fewest emissions of all [fossil] fuels and contains significantly less pollutants than diesel. RIC purchases natural gas from the City of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities.
RIC’s original CNG program launched in August 2013 with nine shuttles and was assisted by a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program grant supported by the Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization. Since then, the airport has purchased twelve new parking shuttles as well as CNG-powered maintenance vehicles.
At that time, airport president and CEO Jon E. Mathiasen, AAE . “It is estimated that the use of replacing diesels with a CNG shuttle fleet will reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emissions by 89% and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions by 95%. Overall, fleet tailpipe emissions will be reduced by more than 20 tons per year.”
(Source: Richmond International Airport)