Calif. City Fuels Sweepers with Renewable Natural Gas

The City of Sacramento's Elgin Broom Bear sweeper runs on compressed natural gas.

Author: Elgin Sweeper/Friday, March 14, 2014/Categories: Alternative fuel street sweeper

The City of Sacramento moved toward compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles with the purchase of its first heavy-duty CNG vehicles — two Elgin Broom Bear four-wheel mechanical broom sweepers. Its other natural gas vehicles include some light-duty CNG cars and trucks, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuse fleet.

"We ran the numbers and found a few areas where compressed natural gas just makes dollars and cents," said Christopher Kerhulas, shop foreman. He added that diversifying away from LNG means the city isn’t only relying on LNG transports from Boron, Calif., for its natural gas transportation needs.

The sweepers replace dual-engine diesel sweepers, and Kerhulas says by using CNG, the city could potentially save $6,650 per year, per sweeper in fuel costs. The fleet expects 10 years of service life from the vehicles. The cost difference between a diesel and CNG Broom Bear is about $35,000.

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