Toyota, announced this week that their in-house vehicle transportation trucking company, Toyota Transport, has deployed its first car hauler fueled by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The Long Beach, California based car hauling truck and trailer combination was designed and built in a joint collaboration with Peterbilt and Cottrell, Inc., the truck and trailer manufacturers. The use of CNG for fuel results in an 85 percent reduction in the emission of particulate matter with 10 percent less carbon dioxide, says Toyota.
“We started exploring the CNG option more than three years ago, and it has been worth the wait,” said Kirk Welch, Senior Analyst, Toyota Transport Compliance. “Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and will help Toyota advance our environmental efforts to reduce fleet emissions.”
Initially, the placement of alternate fuel tanks presented a challenge for car haulers utilizing a 9-car trailer with an over-the-cab head rack. However, working with Toyota’s specifications, Peterbilt and Cottrell were able to develop a tractor/trailer combination that accommodated the alternate fuel tanks, without compromising the extra vehicle hauling space of the head rack. The achievement marks the first full car hauler trailer with head rack that Cottrell has manufactured onto a CNG truck.
“Cottrell, Inc. is proud to help Toyota become the first domestic carrier to employ a CNG fueled car hauler. This was a first for Toyota Logistics but also for Cottrell. We were able to work with Peterbilt and Agility Fuel Systems to alter the design of our headrack to accommodate the natural gas tanks while still maximizing payload,” said Adam Strong, Western Regional Sales Manager for Cottrell, Inc.
Toyota Transport’s southern California Vehicle Delivery Operations in Long Beach and Mira Loma have 32 trucks in service that delivers 200,000 vehicles annually. Most of its car hauler trucks average more than 100,000 miles per year. The new CNG powered vehicle will be deployed locally out of Long Beach as a test, where the company will evaluate its performance as well as compare the efficiency versus the current diesel trucks. The CNG truck is expected to drive an average of 7,000 to 8,000 miles per month during the test period.
The development and deployment of the CNG fueled truck advances Toyota’s own environmental endeavors and efforts in its support of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay program, the public-private initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution created by freight transportation in corporate supply chains. Toyota’s environmental commitment has been widely recognized, most recently with a SmartWay Excellence Award/Truck Carrier from the EPA in October 2015, says Toyota.
According to the EPA, the SmartWay Transport Partnership is a market-driven initiative that empowers businesses to move goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible, while protecting public health and reducing the impacts of climate change. Since 2004, SmartWay Partners have saved 144.3 million barrels of oil and $20.6 billion in fuel costs. SmartWay’s clean air achievements (61.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, 1,070,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 43,000 tons of particulate matter emissions avoided) help to protect the well-being of citizens.
Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle
Toyota is not only working on clean air initiatives behind the dealer sales floor scene through the development of this CNG powered Toyota Transport car hauler, but has actually taken their clean air initiatives into dealer showrooms (selected dealerships) with their all-new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric powered four-door mid-size sedan. While others are only exploring hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles, Toyota is the first to the consumer market with the mass-produced Mirai which arrived in October this year and is now on sale in California.