SEAL BEACH, CA --- Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has joined an investment group to help launch a new natural gas vehicle made in the United States for taxi and paratransit use.

Clean Energy Fuels is a leading provider of natural gas (CNG and LNG) for transportation in North America. The company has committed a $10-million investment in an overall $160-million equity financing led by Perseus LLC, a merchant bank and private equity fund management company.

Separately, Clean Energy's co-founder, T. Boone Pickens, has committed a $10-million investment to the funding package. The funding will be provided to the Vehicle Production Group LLC (, the original equipment manufacturer of the multi-purpose vehicle.

"We are making this strategic investment to help bring new, efficient, clean natural gas vehicles to the market in the United States," said Andrew Littlefair, Clean Energy president and CEO. "Demand for natural gas vehicles is surging, particularly with the high cost of petroleum fuel and the savings to be gained by using natural gas fuel."

Available in both gasoline- and natural gas-powered models, the vehicle will offer seating positions for four passengers and additional space for a wheelchair or scooter. This is compliant with the vehicle standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

VPG expects to begin delivery of the vehicles in 2010.