Ryder System Inc. has announced that 99 Cents Only Stores has selected it to provide a full-service lease for 40 compressed natural gas (CNG) tractors to replace diesel tractors in the retailer's fleet.
The CNG vehicles were made available through Ryder's natural gas vehicle project agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California, and will replace the majority of the retail chain's current delivery fleet. Ryder notes that this contract with 99 Cents Only Stores is Ryder's single largest lease agreement for CNG vehicles to date.
This deal, made possible by the $38.7 million Ryder/SANBAG project, is part of a public/private partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, the Southern California Association of Governments Clean Cities Coalition and Ryder.
The project includes 202 natural gas vehicles to be deployed into Ryder's Southern California operations network, upgrades to three maintenance facilities for the proper servicing of natural gas vehicles and the construction of two fueling stations.
“With the support from SANBAG to help offset some of the acquisition costs, we'll be able to take advantage of natural gas as a fuel source, which is a less expensive, cleaner and less volatile fuel than diesel,” says Eric Schiffer, CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores.
99 Cents Only Stores has already taken delivery of 31 CNG vehicles and will place the remaining vehicles into service over the next several months. The 40 CNG units will operate throughout the greater Los Angeles area, carrying out store deliveries and vendor pickups, and will be serviced at a local Ryder facility.