- AJR Trucking has tapped energy company U.S. Gain to build a renewable natural gas station on the transport firm's property in Compton, California, a U.S. Gain spokesperson said via email. The station will also be used by AJR Trucking's sister company, MDB Transportation, and will be open to the public 24/7, according to a press release.
- A typical RNG station takes seven to nine months to build, though the Compton location required "relatively minimal" construction work, the spokesperson said. The retail price for fuel at the new Compton location is $2.65 gasoline gallon equivalent, compared to $4 diesel, the spokesperson said.
- The location is roughly 16 miles from the Port of Long Beach. The station meets the emission standards set by the port and the Harbor Trucking Association, according to the release. U.S. Gain and AJR Trucking worked with South Coast Air Quality Management District to assess the economic and environmental impact prior to construction, the spokesperson said.
Battery-electric and fuel-cell-electric trucks are making their way to market and becoming more economically viable. But in the meantime, some fleets are looking to go greener now. RNG trucks are one way to bridge that gap.
Since transitioning to natural gas, AJR Trucking has used more than 1 million gallons of the fuel, according to the press release. Doing so has eliminated more than 2,200 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which according to U.S. Gain, is "the equivalent of removing 1,234 cars off the road or planting more than 149,747 trees."
Infrastructure — a pain point for newer technologies, particularly hydrogen — isn't an issue for RNG. The existing, national pipeline network can deliver the fuel. That's one the of the reasons UPS is using it. It started transitioning its fleet to RNG in 2013, and agreed to buy 170 million gallon equivalents through 2026.
UPS bought fuel from Clean Energy Fuels, which is also Estes Express Lines' supplier. Estes said in September it would add 50 new RNG trucks to its California fleet, bringing its total to 71. It signed a seven-year contract with Clean Energy Fuels, and it's expected to use 2.8 million gallons of RNG over the duration.
U.S. Gain has dozens of RNG stations in the U.S., mostly in the eastern half of the country, and three in Canada. Anheuser-Busch, based in St. Louis, is among its customers. Last August, the beverage-maker committed to converting 180 trucks, which is 30% of its fleet, to RNG.
The partnership with AJR Trucking will expand U.S. Gain's footprint in California. The company currently has two stations in the southern part of the state, one in Inglewood and one in Santa Ana.
U.S. Gain's stations are built through partnerships, so that it can build the station to meet the fleet's location requirements, the spokesperson said.
UPS placed its stations within its hub-and-spoke-style network. Packages are sorted and sent out from a central location, which is a prime location for its vehicles to refuel.