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The Case for Natural Gas School Buses

Posted by [email protected] on September 8, 2013 at 4:40 PM Comments comments ()

The Case for Natural Gas School Buses

By Edward Himes - Managing Director EGHimes Consulting LLC & Daniel O'Connell - Managing Director Kelson Solutions LLC.


As the fracking debate rages in Albany and with the Governor seeming to want to delay the decision as long as possible many in the public arena are wondering if Natural Gas is the right fuel choice for our future fuel choice here in NY State. If this is so when will we see it take hold and become common place. With the continued disparity of cost per gallon equivalent between natural gas and gasoline the lure of quick savings is enticing to almost everyone. So too are fleet managers scrambling to "run the numbers" on their fuel cost as continued budget pressure has us all looking for ways to reduce cost wherever possible.


Upon further investigation what would seem like a simple miles traveled versus per gallon fuel cost equation turns out to be anything but! There are a number of significant factors for fleet operators to consider. Costs such as: vehicle conversion, infrastructure installation, maintenance facility upgrades, and fuel provider price margin are all required. We at Kelson Solutions set out to run an example for the alternative fuel fleet market in Rochester. We thought what better place to start than where academia, government and consumer intersect - School buses.


We started with the United States Department of Energy VICE model and tweaked it a bit for our Rochester application. Then we selected an average fleet size of 40 buses to be converted (unfitted with NG tanks and fuel systems). We then added in all the costs based on input from local sources (Clean Cities, Honeoye Falls School District, Federal and Local tax incentives, Station Providers, Conversion Companies ), our own expertise and then let the model churn overnight looking for satisfactory return on investment numbers. Most corporations will expect to realize a return on their investment withion 5 years.


What the analysis shows is that with the right incentives, appropriate start up capitol, adequate station throughput, and the correct number of vehicles the return on investment can be significant.


Let us know if you want to run a scenario to determine if natural gas is the right choice for your fleet application.


To Consult or not to Consult - that is the question!

Posted by [email protected] on July 26, 2013 at 3:45 PM Comments comments ()

Are you a start-up company, a financially strained company, or an overcommitted company? As a leader are you strapped for time, cash, resources, just struggling to find ways to cover business spikes, or in need of short-term expertise that you just don't have in your organization today? Have a sensitive project that you need to get results on without troubling your core team? If the answer is yes to any of these then you should consider hiring a consultant.


There are lots of well documented reasons for hiring a consultant. Lets review a few of my favorites here shall we.


Hiring the right consultant with specific skills can save you money in the long-run when compared to hiring a full-time employee. When your project is over the consultant moves on to their next client. There is virtually no overhead associated with a consultant so you have a leg up on even a contract employee. You get a very focused effort from an expert who has faced your particular problem before so the solutions come much quicker.


Consultants usually bring with them the best practices from across the industry. You get all that process experience (usually with a global flavor as well) for one single rate. Sometimes all it takes for THE perfect solution to a perplexing problem to bubble to surface is an outside agent taking a fresh set of eyes to the issue.


If you want a non political solution to your problem a consultant can attack it with no baggage or fear of career missteps. The unvarnished truth and the most economical solution may come from a consultant who can speak freely because that's what the leadership asked them to do. it's a great way to uncover hidden political agendas as a side benefit.


You can use a consultant to add some seasoned veteran capability for teaching your younger workforce. Sure would be nice not to have to recreate the wheel every time you want to roll down a hill, or come up with a new battle plan every time you take the same old hill. Utilizing a consultant to teach your team to fish makes perfect sense.


So take my advice or the advice of an expert and hire just the experience and expertise you need, only when you need it. Want to grow your business beyond where it is today, increase sales, improve processes, maximize productivity, strategize, etc., etc., etc., then think Consulting!



Posted by [email protected] on July 25, 2013 at 4:05 PM Comments comments ()

Welcome to the new Kelson Solutions LLC blog.

More information coming soon! Check back for updates.