World CNG, a company specializing in natural gas vehicle conversions is to build eleven Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered Dodge Grand Caravans for SCR Medical Transportation of Chicago. Over the next month, these cleaner-burning vehicles will be integrated into SCR’s fleet that provides paratransit services in a six county area of northeastern Illinois. Each Dodge Grand Caravan CNG is outfitted with an ElDorado National side-loading wheelchair ramp and 11.2 GGEs of CNG fuel storage that provide up to 200 miles (322 km) of range.
According to the American Public Transit Association, 15% of public transit buses in the U.S. are powered by natural gas and nearly 20% of all buses on order are slated to run on natural gas. Transit agencies are increasingly making the switch from diesel to natural gas to save money on fuel and reduce air and noise pollution. As Garret Alpers, President of World CNG, explains, paratransit operators that prefer the versatility and fuel economy of a minivan can now also capitalize on the benefits of incorporating natural gas vehicles into their fleets.
“Through a partnership with NatGasCar, we have been able to develop an EPA-certified CNG minivan that is a safe and affordable solution for paratransit operators,” said Alpers. “The innovative trunk-mounted CNG tank design allows for the straightforward addition of the side-load wheelchair ramp that many ADA service providers require.”
“SCR continually strives to provide transportation services that not only preserve but can also improve upon the health and safety of our customers,” said Stan Rakestraw, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SCR Medical Transportation. “Adopting new vehicle technologies and cleaner fuels like CNG allow us to better serve our community.”
Federal grant funding administered by the City of Chicago’s Departments of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Green Taxi Program covered the incremental cost of the CNG conversion.
The Chrysler Dodge Caravan is EPA Certified to Tier 2 Bin 3 EPA emission standards for Dedicated CNG operation.
(This article compiled using information from a World CNG press release)