Sector: CNG

Natural gas-powered trucks in Manhattan

Yet another US company, the New York-based Manhattan Beer Distributors, has announced plans to introduce methane-powered vehicles to its fleet. In fact, those plans have already been undergoing implementation. The conversion is subsidised with federal funds.
Manhattan Beer Distributors take delivery of CNG trucks© Beverage WorldTwelve trucks may seem few, yet they make 83 tonnes of a difference

The MBD is one of the largest beer distributors in the entire United States, even if the company only delivers the amber beverage across New York and upstate. They have pioneered the shift to methane in the NY area, having introduced first delivery vehicles running on the blue fuel to their fleet back in 2002. At the same time a refueling station was launched in the Bronx. The fleet was later expanded by the addition of another 15 vehicles, this time operating in the Brooklyn area. A CNG station was added there, too. In 2008 yet another 15 trucks were converted and a third station – in Long Island – was launched.

In early November 2013 the MBD added 12 new CNG-powered trucks to its now 300-strong fleet. Thanks to the move, the Manhattan Beer Distributors now operate 75 trucks running on the eco-friendly, abundant and American-made methane instead of high-polluting diesel produced from imported oil. The newly converted cars – albeit the term conversion in this case means an engine swap from a diesel burner to a natural gas unit – will operate around Long Island.

As the MBD estimates, the 12 newly introduced vehicles will help cut the company's corporate emissions by 83 tonnes compared to diesel counterparts. Also, 218 thousand gallons (approx. 825 thousand litres) of diesel fuel will be displaced. 573 thousand dollars for the purchase and conversion of the trucks were granted by the Greater Long Island Coalition Clean Cities, an organisation whose aim is to promote and popularise alternative fuels in the US, especially in order to improve air quality.

The MBD has also been investing money in other clean and green technologies, not necessarily automotive ones. The company's new Bronx headquarters has been lately equipped with efficient heating and air conditioning, as well as LED-based lighting. By the end of 2013, solar roof panels will be installed. According to the MBD's representatives, the solar system will be the largest of its kind in town. Now that's an example to follow and we're pretty sure other NY companies soon will.


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Piotr Złoty
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