Ryder System, Inc., has begun to take delivery of 39 light- and medium-duty compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, the first of their kind in North America available for lease or rent. The vehicles include 20 Greenkraft cab-over vehicles with 6.0L GM natural gas engines and 19 Navistar International TranStar trucks with Cummins Westport ISL G engines.

“We are very pleased to work with Ryder to develop these CNG-powered truck chassis,” said Kevin Keene, sales director for Navistar. “By offering CNG-powered trucks in a medium duty configuration, Ryder is demonstrating its dedication to making natural gas commercial vehicles available for this important market segment.”

The CNG trucks range in gross vehicle weight from 16,000 to 33,000 pounds and are available for lease or rent from Ryder in California. The new light and medium duty natural gas vehicles are ideal for metro/city delivery applications. Unlike heavy duty natural gas vehicles, which require fueling stations designed to accommodate large commercial tractor-trailers, these lighter vehicles are able to access much of the existing retail CNG fueling infrastructure, which will increase their usability to a broader range of commercial fleet customers in California. These initial 39 vehicles will be maintained at Ryder’s natural gas compliant California maintenance facilities in Orange, Fontana, Rancho Dominguez and West Sacramento, but these vehicle configurations are now available as part of Ryder’s growing portfolio of offerings in all markets where Ryder services natural gas vehicles.

“This latest offering reinforces Ryder’s leadership in commercial natural gas vehicle solutions and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to find innovative ways to meet our customers’ transportation needs,” said Robert Sanchez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Ryder. “Ryder’s natural gas vehicle program in California is also a model of public/private collaboration that is helping to develop a long-term and sustainable growth trajectory for cleaner, cheaper, and cost-effective natural gas.”

Funding for the incremental cost of the vehicles was provided by the California Energy Commission and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC). These grants enable Ryder to make the cost of renting or leasing CNG vehicles more comparable to traditional diesel trucks.

The 39 new light and medium duty vehicles represent an expansion of Ryder’s 300 plus heavy duty natural gas vehicle fleet. Ryder became the first outsourced fleet provider to offer heavy duty natural gas vehicles for the leasing and rental industry through a groundbreaking natural gas vehicle project with San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California. Ryder’s partnership with SANBAG and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Clean Cities Coalition includes the deployment of 202 heavy duty natural gas-powered vehicles, made available to customers for rent or lease or through Ryder’s Dedicated logistics services. As part of the project, Ryder has built two natural gas refueling stations and has equipped three maintenance facilities for the indoor servicing of natural gas vehicles in the California communities of Fontana, Orange, and Rancho Dominguez. The $38.7 million project has been funded as part of a joint public/private industry partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, and Ryder. Ryder’s natural gas fleet includes both compressed and liquefied natural gas vehicles that are currently deployed in customer operations in California, Arizona, Michigan and Louisiana. To learn more about Ryder’s commitment to alternative fuels visit www.ryder.com/alternativefuels.