LITTLE VALLEY – For the second time in six months, members of the Cattaraugus County Legislature’s Public Works Committee have heard proposals on moving the county’s vehicle fleet from traditional fuels to compressed natural gas. For the second time, no action is in the near future.
Karen and Darius Teslovich, the owners of CNG One Source, an Erie, Pa. company, gave a presentation about how their firm could convert the vehicles from their current fuels. They discussed starting the process with feasibility studies and culminating with completed engines and fueling stations.
CNG One Source offers three options in fuel systems to municipalities, and they differ with the fleets, Karen Teslovich said. The options include a straight compressed natural gas system, a switchable bi-fuel system, and a dual-fuel mix.
In the switchable system, a toggle is placed on the dashboard of the vehicle to allow the operator to move the engine from CNG to diesel or gasoline.
“The payback on the system has a longer time than the straight CNG system,” Karen Teslovich said. “And the mixed fuel is even longer, since the diesel is mixed right with the CNG.”
Many manufacturers have started to standardize their engines to allow for the conversion to a CNG fuel source, Darius Teslovich said. The methods and design of the engines make the conversion a bit easier since the pieces used for conversion fit better.
“A conversion in a light-duty vehicle, like a pickup truck, will cost between $7,000 and $10,000,” Karen Teslovich said. “The cost difference is in the fuel tank. We offer sizes from 10 to 30 gallons, and from steel tanks to a carbon composite.”
It was noted that the new systems seem to be safer than traditional sources. According to Karen Teslovich, tests include vehicle drops, dynamite tests and rapid-fire gun fire tests.
The presentations are part of an information-gathering process for the committee, according to William Aiello, R-Olean, chairman of the committee. No action was taken on the information.