Fiat Chrysler today announced it has converted its 179 Detroit-based parts-haulers to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), creating the largest privately owned CNG truck fleet in the state of Michigan.
Converting the trucks cost about $40 million, a sum that also includes $1.8 million to its the 36,000-square-foot maintenance facility to handle the new CNG fleet and $5 million for a new on-site CNG fueling station – the largest private CNG station in North America. The new CNG fleet, which formerly burned about 2.6 million gallons of diesel fuel per year, is expected to return net fuel cost savings of about 35 percent per year.
“Our transition to CNG reflects the way FCA US 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 for FCA. “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.”
The use of the CNG trucks will prevent about 16,000 tons of C02 emissions from entering the atmosphere on an annual basis, equivalent to the amount of C02 emissions used to produce energy for 1,500 homes for an entire year.