DTE Energy, a Detroit-based diversified energy company, has received a USD 5.4 million federal grant through Clean Energy Coalition to fund the conversion of more than 170 gasoline-powered fleet vehicles to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). The grant, which was awarded to Clean Energy Coalition’s Green Fleets program by the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also pays for the construction of two new CNG fueling stations and the refurbishment of 11 others across Michigan.
Vehicle conversions will be carried out by Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. (MichCon), preparing 173 brand new Ford service vehicles to operate on CNG. MichCon, a unit of DTE Energy, is matching the grant with $6.8 million towards the purchase of the base service vehicles and additional CNG station upgrades.
“Natural gas vehicles offer a safe complementary technology to gasoline, hybrid and electric vehicles – and they are particularly well suited to medium- and heavy-duty applications,” said Jerry Norcia, President and Chief Operating Officer of MichCon & Group President DTE Energy. “NGVs are ready for the road today with technology that operates like a gasoline vehicle, but with lower fuel costs and significantly lower emissions.”
CNG fuel prices currently average about $1.95 per gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) compared to gasoline prices of $3.70 a gallon. In addition, natural gas vehicles can produce significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than diesel or gasoline powered cars and trucks.
“Clean Energy Coalition is proud to partner with DTE Energy to transform the energy source for its fleet vehicles into a cleaner, domestic-based, more economical fuel,” said Sean Reed, Executive Director of Clean Energy Coalition. “The positive effects are far-reaching, and we hope DTE Energy’s actions will serve as a catalyst for other fleet operators to invest in smarter fuel options.”
Clean Energy Coalition is dedicated to promoting clean energy technologies as a way to create healthier, energy independent communities. It’s Green Fleets initiative helps Michigan companies deploy clean-fueled vehicles and build the necessary fueling infrastructure to support them.
(This article compiled using information from a DTE Energy press release)