CNG-powered snow ploughs in Dublin
The newly acquired vehicles are not Dublin's first NGVs. In fact, with this latest addition there are as many as 63 of them in the city, although not all of them are snow ploughs. The latter currently constitute 22 of Dublin's municipal vehicle fleet, but some of them are still diesel-powered. However, as shown by the recent purchase of new ones running on CNG, the city is gradually replacing old ploughs with more economical and environmentally-friendly ones. The goal is to go 100% CNG, which will have the added value of lower noise emissions and that's important for snow ploughs as they are rather loud by definition.
Dublin started its affair with CNG replacing diesel in the autumn of 2011, with a compressed methane fuel station launched in June 2012. Back then, the fleet consisted of 41 trucks, two Ford Fusion sedans and a Ford Transit van. It has been growing at a stable if somewhat slow pace since and the newly acquired ploughs are Freightliner trucks equipped with Cummins Westport CNG engines. The aforementioned station is a publicly available one and in 2014 the city retailed 441 thousand GGEs (gasoline gallon equivalents) of compressed natural gas to Dublin's companies and individual drivers.
The purchase of four new CNG-powered snow ploughs in Dublin, Ohio, goes to confirm that while gaseous alternative fuels are gaining popularity and importance in the US, they are particularly appealing to fleets operating in a limited area around a central base due to insufficient refueling infrastructure. However, the number od cities using locally-operating fleets of CNG- and LPG-powered vehicles is growing, so all in all the situation is improving and sooner or later it may (and probably will) become possible to go on a coast-to-coast American roadtrip free of conventional fuels. Don't worry, it'll happen!
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