RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, CA - Ryder System Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its first natural gas vehicle maintenance facility and took an initial delivery of natural gas vehicles in Southern California on May 4.

The celebration took place at Ryder’s commercial truck rental, leasing and maintenance center in Rancho Dominguez, Calif. This is the first NGV facility completed under the Ryder/San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) project. The $38.7 million NGV project was funded as part of a joint public/private industry partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission and Ryder System Inc.

Ryder's new natural gas vehicle maintenance facility in Rancho Dominguez, Calif.

Ryder's new natural gas vehicle maintenance facility in Rancho Dominguez, Calif.

Located in an industrialized region of eastern Los Angeles County, the modified Ryder Rancho Dominguez facility now meets stringent industry and government safety standards for natural gas maintenance including upgrades of electrical, lighting, air handling and ventilation systems.

When fully implemented, the Ryder/SANBAG project will include two natural gas fueling stations and three maintenance facilities – the one at Rancho Dominguez and two additional Ryder locations in the city of Orange in Orange County and the city of Fontana in San Bernardino County.

As part of the Ryder/SANBAG project, Ryder will deploy a total of 202 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles in the region. The vehicles include 182 Freightliner M2-112 tractors featuring the Cummins ISL-G engine, in both single-axle and tandem-axel day cab configurations, as well as a mix of other natural gas truck platforms. At completion, the Ryder/SANBAG project will displace more than 1.5 million gallons of diesel annually with 100 percent domestically produced low-carbon natural gas.

“The Ryder/SANBAG project represents a tremendous opportunity to introduce our 1,200 commercial customers in Southern California to a new innovative, efficient and environmentally sound fleet solution,” said Alex Madrinkian, vice president of sales for Ryder’s west region. “We see a great deal of interest from customers and prospects in the region that are looking to integrate natural gas technology into their fleets.”

By the end of May there will be approximately 70 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles domiciled at the Rancho Dominguez facility.

“With 202 new heavy-duty natural gas trucks being deployed across three locations, and with the construction of two publicly accessible natural gas fueling stations, this project will allow for the continued growth of ultra-low-emission natural gas vehicles throughout Southern California, contributing to improved air quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and a lessened dependence upon petroleum fuels for transportation,” said SANBAG President and San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt.