Alternative Fuels and Future Goals of The Vehicle Technologies Offices

Jul 12, 2016, 09:00 ET from

NEW YORK, July 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

There are many benefits for using alternative fuels. Besides helping with obvious environmental concerns associated with fossil fuels, alternative fuels also bring an economic edge to the table. In macroeconomic terms, alternative fuels increase the number of options available to drivers, by this increasing competition, and reducing price volatility. Alternative fuels are categorized as BiodieselEthanolNatural GasPropane, and HydrogenGreenkraft, Inc. (OTCQB: GKIT), Plug Power, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL), Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLDP), Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ: CLNE) reported that The Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) supports research and development (R&D) to improve how vehicles can use these fuels in the future, as well as activities to increase their availability today.

According to a report by Reportbuyer, the natural gas segment accounted for more than 15% of the overall consumption in the automotive internal combustion engine market in 2014. This number is expected to grow the next few years, as natural gas is part of the strategy in reducing the use of petroleum. The VTO is planning to reduce petroleum use in transportation in the United States by 2.5 billion gallons a year in 2025, and natural gas, as well as propane fuels are playing a major role in achieving this goal. This in turn is expected to cause a surge in demand for commercial as well as passenger vehicles built especially or converted to alternative fuel systems.

Such an industry already exists, and the demand is growing. Companies like Greenkraft, Inc. (OTC: GKIT) for example have built their entire business model around alternative fuel automotive products. The company offers alternative commercial forward cabin trucks and alternative fuel systems for various vehicles. The commercial trucks are powered by alternative fuels such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Greenkraft, as the name suggests, is trying to reduce emissions. Recently the company has announced that it has achieved near zero emissions on various alternative fuel products running, including near zero emission engines in trucks that can be used across the transportation industry throughout the USA. 

Greenkraft, Inc. (GKIT) just announced the Company is now manufacturing trucks designed to run with a package from Allison Transmission Holdings, Inc. "Greenkraft trucks are used in a variety of industries and are considered to be among the best performing in the heavy-duty market. The first line of trucks with Allison are available in classes from 19,500 LBS to 26,000 LBS GVWR, as well as other versions Greenkraft has in development for up to 33,000 LBS GVWR. These new trucks are game-changers not only for the Company but for the entire alternative energy vehicle industry as a whole."

Another example of a company which puts emphasize on natural gas as an alternative fuel for a vehicle fleet is Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ: CLNE). They are engaged in supplying compressed CNG, LNG and renewable natural gas (RNG) for light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, and providing repair and maintenance services for vehicle fleet customer stations.

The fleets which can used natural gas as a fuel to reduce the use of petroleum include a variety of vehicles such as transit buses, refuse haulers, delivery trucks, and long-haul trucks, which currently consume more than a third of the petroleum used for transportation in the U.S. 

Alternative energy is a diversified sector however, and other companies like, Plug Power, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), are dealing with hydrogen fuels. The company claims that the future when hydrogen and fuel cells will be ubiquitous globally is not far away. Hydrogen fuels are a zero-emission fuels which uses electrochemical cells, or combustion in internal engines, to power vehicles and electric devices.

The same technology can be used in various ways and for different purposes. FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) for example designs, manufactures, sells and installs, stationary fuel cell power plants for distributed power generation. The power plants are entirely environmentally friendly, and utilize a variety of fuels including renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing, as well as clean natural gas, directed biogas and propane.

Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLDP) is a company that provides both power products and technology solutions. Ballard's power products are designed to meet the power needs of customers through delivery of high value, clean energy fuel cell products that offer superior performance at a reduced operating cost. The technology solutions provide customers with high-value services to accelerate fuel cell development and deployment efforts.

The VTO plays an important role in the advancements of natural gas in through the private sector, In 2015, the Fuel and Lubricant Technologies subprogram continued to invest gaseous fuels research, and funded projects to remove barriers so more efficient gaseous fuel technologies could be used.

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