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Member Spotlight: ICOM North America

Dudley Westlake
Autogas Fleet Development Specialist
This month we asked Dudley Westlake of ICOM North America to tell us a bit about himself, how he became interested in alternative fuels and ultimately why he joined ICOM North America. They are our newest coalition members.
How did you get involved in alternative fuels? 
I have always enjoyed the business challenges associated with creating and expanding markets.  The opportunity to expand the market for alternative fuels in the United States by offering both significant reductions in emissions leading to cleaner, healthier air AND helping public and private fleets reduce their operating expenses is truly a win/win.  When the opportunity to join ICOM surfaced,  I was excited about it for just those reasons.
Which of your alt fuel products are most popular in Texas? Why?
ICOM has historically focused on Propane Autogas products while also recognizing that in Texas, both Propane Liquid Injection Autogas and CNG fuels are already meeting the needs of fleets that must reduce their emissions or “carbon footprint” and simultaneously reduce operating expenses.  We are introducing a dual fuel Natural Gas (CNG-LNG-RNG)/Diesel system this year that has already been well accepted in Canada, Mexico and Europe for larger class 7/8 vehicles. We have partnered with NAT G, based in Houston, as our exclusive dealer in Texas since they already have an established CNG business in the state.  According to Dennis Foose, NAT G CEO, “ICOM’s patented liquid injection systems are a perfect complement to our CNG system offerings, and we can now offer our fleet customers both alternative fuels since each has a specific niche.”  Texas, as an alternative fuels producing state, also offers grants and subsidies through TCEQ/TERP that can significantly offset the costs for installing systems and get more cleaner running vehicles on the road.
What are other advantages of using ICOM’s products?
Another very important feature for fleets that provide essential community services or cover large territories is the extended range available when vehicles are equipped with both gas and alternative fuel systems.  During hurricanes and other natural disasters, gas and/or diesel fuel distribution may be compromised. Running what we call “bifuel” systems can double the range of a vehicle.  According to Alex Hinojosa, Jr, Vice President of Hinogas.  “I selected ICOM for two reasons, first, their liquid injection systems offer better overall vehicle performance and their fuel pump is not located in the tank with the propane.  I don’t have to evacuate the tank to service the propane pump.”  
We know you live in California and service New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arizona and Texas.  Can we count on being your favorite state?
Yes! Texas has a special place in my heart because my daughter and her family live in Austin, and the more time I spend in Texas, the more time I get to spend with my 20 month old grandson!

Agility Fuel Solutions Gains New ISO Compliance

COSTA MESA, CA – July 17, 2018 – – Agility Fuel Solutions is now certified compliant with the ISO 14001:2015 standard at its manufacturing facilities in Salisbury, North Carolina, USA and in Raufoss, Norway. These certifications were awarded by DNV GL for Agility’s implementation of a program to promote and practice environmental sustainability while ensuring the health and safety of its workforce. Read the full article on Agility’s website.

100 Best Fleets Workshops Held in Three Texas Cities

Tom Johnson of the 100 Best Fleets accompanied some of the 2018 contest winners on a Texas tour last month to share their experiences and advice with fleets from the Dallas, Central Texas and San Antonio areas. The Director of Dekalb County, Georgia’s fleet,  winner of the top U.S. fleet this year, visited all three cities and shared suggestions.  Several vendor representatives also attended. Our Finance Director, Judy, outlined the Clean Cities program and updated the attendees on activities of Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance and Clean Cities.  The Austin program was hosted by The University of Texas fleet, also a 100 Best winner, at the Pickle Center.

Mission accomplished for the DOE internship/mentoring program!

Diego Lopez, shown here with Sheble McConellogue, was recently hired by Northern Colorado Clean Cities as a co-coordinator along with Sheble.  In 2014 our then director, Stacy Neef, applied for and received funding from the Department of Energy to support a student intern. She was matched with Diego who spent his semester organizing Austin Community College students to create and host an Earth Day Festival which has become an annual event.

In his spare time he showed Taylor High School students how to build an electric bike and worked with Austin Energy to showcase electric vehicles. Diego says “The Clean Cities internship with Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance gave me many transferable skills and grounded experience. I gained a lot of confidence in my communication skills through the internship, which is paramount in the field of science and new technology.”  Diego is working on a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado, Denver in Chemistry and will graduate in May 2019.

Stacy gave him a 5-star rating, saying  “Diego is a hard wired, interested and invested partner in any venue. He is energetic, focused, and driven! He was a dependable asset!”  Sheble is already excited to have him on board and says “He will fit in well with our Clean Cities family and with the Colorado Refuel Project as Project Manager.”
Our warmest congrats to both!

Member Spotlight: Henna Chevrolet Isuzu

Ronnie Max Oldham –
Commercial and Fleet Sales Consultant

How are you and Henna involved with alternative fuel vehicles?
I work with commercial and fleet accounts, building relationships and selling them medium-duty work trucks and vans from Izuzu and Chevrolet, which has a variety of AFV offerings.
You’ve been involved with Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance and other Clean Cities coalitions for a long time – how did you initially get involved?
I owned a company called CleanFuel CNG Conversions which upfitted vehicles to run on compressed natural gas and propane.  I was responsible for all aspects of management of this startup, including hiring, training, motivation and supervision of numerous employees and contractors, as well as sourcing and procurement of equipment and system components. In this position I also made direct sales of engine conversion services to large fleet and government accounts in various states.  I have about 10 years of experience with CNG, LPG and plug-in hybrid systems.  Through this company, I worked with Clean Cities Coalitions and propane and natural gas associations across a number of states.

Since you designed and installed onboard fuel storage and delivery systems, were you required to hold certifications and if so what?
Yes, I am: CSA Certified Fuel System Inspector, ASE F-1 Certified, Texas Railroad Commission CNG Certified
Anything else we should know?

Here’s one of my favorite inspirational quotes:

Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Ronnie Max can be reached at ‭(512) 289-9799‬ and max.oldham@henna.com.

LSCFA st Work: School Bus Fleet Managers’ Round Table

With a lunch sponsorship from Roush Clean Tech and Rush Bus Centers and along with our hosts, Leander ISD, we continued our series of Fleet Manager Round Tables on June 18th when multiple fleets came together to discuss common issues and successes with alt fuel school buses.

School bus fleet mechanics and administrators from Austin, Eanes, Georgetown and Lockhart ISDs joined representatives from Lone Star Clean Fuels, state agencies and vendors at the Leander ISD Support Services Facility.  Most of the attending fleets were fans of propane school buses and are increasing their usage of them.  The only drawbacks mentioned were the size of the fuel tanks which are currently maxed out at 100 gallons due to space limitations for the tank and distance challenges for schools with really long bus routes that can’t be completed on one tank of fuel. On the plus side, the buses burn cleaner, and there are multiple sources of grant funds for alt fuel buses. Contact Tom Hopkins with Roush Cleantech at tom.hopkins@roush.com or (734)679-5704 or Craig Horinka, Rush Bus Centers at horinkac@rushenterprises.com for more information about alt fuel school buses.

The group toured the Leander ISD bus facility and received a
demonstration of driver fueling protocol.

Our hosts in Leander currently operate 78 propane buses, have plans to acquire even more and were happy to show off their operation.  Their refueling infrastructure of 16,000 gallons will soon be expanded to 34,000 total gallons.  They estimate their 2017 fuel savings with propane at $250,000 and expect that to increase with planned expansions in the fleet.

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