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BAF Technologies Begins Converting 600 AT&T Vehicles To CNG in 2009

Dallas-based BAF Technologies has begun converting 600 AT&T Ford E-Series vans to dedicated CNG technology in 2009. This is part of AT&T’s plan to invest up to $565 million to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years. AT&T expects to spend an estimated $350 million to purchase about 8,000 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles and approximately $215 million to begin replacing its passenger cars with alternative-fuel models, beginning with hybrids. (Earlier post.)

The converted vehicles will utilize the BAF CalComp System, a proprietary CNG fuel system certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (ARB). CNG vehicles are expected to emit approximately 25% less greenhouse gas emissions than those traditionally powered by gasoline.

BAF’s CalComp system is fully integrated into the OEM powertrain control system. No additional control module is required. The entire gasoline system is removed and replaced with CNG storage tank(s), HP plumbing, a CNG regulator, and new CNG injectors. Control of all CNG components, including the original dash-mounted fuel gauge, is done using the OEM vehicle computer which BAF reprograms to optimize CNG performance.

System features include:

  • Closed-loop fuel control
  • Sequential fuel injection (SFI)
  • Optimized ignition timing
  • Maintains original fault codes (DTCs)
  • Diagnostics accessed through DLC using original scan tool or any generic OBD-II scanner

In an E-350 van, the CalComp system is integrated with the 5.4L V8 Triton engine. The van, which is certified to the ARB SULEV standard, has a standard fuel capacity of 20.0 GGE and has a limited warranty of 3 years/50,000 miles.

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, Mich. estimates that for the years AT&T’s fleet purchase program is operating, more than 1,000 jobs in the United States will be created or saved. In addition to the economic benefits, CAR estimates the new vehicles will save 49 million gallons of gasoline and reduce carbon emissions by 211,000 metric tons over the 10-year deployment period.

The new CNG/passenger vehicle commitment follows AT&T’s deployment of 105 alternative-fuel vehicles in more than 30 US cities beginning in June 2008. In addition, AT&T piloted four Ford Escape hybrids, which were deployed in late 2007 in California. Through these pilot programs, AT&T determined that a mix of solutions is right for its fleet and that multiple technologies can help reduce its operating costs over time, while effectively reducing its fuel consumption and impact on the environment.

Comments

SJC

This will be good for the air and oil usage and best of all for the company, it reduces the fuel expense. CNG in trucks, buses and taxis can really reduce imported oil. The EPA needs to make the approval process more user friendly so that this can be done to more vehicles sooner at a lower cost.

JMartin

The stimulus package should have helped all schools to convert their buses to CNG. Protect students' health, reduce greenhouse gasses, and save $ on fuel.

HarveyD

You could go one step further (in 2010-12) and use CNG HEVs for delivery/service vehicles, taxis, city buses, school buses etc.

The next step (in 2012-15) could be with CNG PHEVs for all above stated vehicles + private cars and small pick-up trucks***

The final step (in 2015-20) could be with BEVs.

This way, NG supply would not run out before the progressive switch (2015-2030) to BEVs.

Meanwhile....*** I have seen the worse aberration on city streets lately, i.e. 4 or 5-ton International trucks converted into club-cab pick-ups with two huge muffler pipes extending above the huge cab. They look twice is large as the monster Hummers. Don't know if these truck/pick-ups are much heavier but are more scarry and so was the heavily tattoed 300+ lbs driver. Could a city by-law be used to block access to residential areas?

Henry Gibson

It has been demonstrated that hydraulic hybrids can save even more CO2 even running on gasoline. ..HG..

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