(photo above: Chris Hagen CTO Onboard Dynamics and Assistant Professor OSU-Cascades, Cheryl Martin former ARPA-e Director and Rita Hansen, CEO Onboard Dynamics)
Although we have had a recent reprieve from high fuel prices, over the last ten years, fuel costs for Oregonians have nearly doubled, consuming a larger and larger share of household income. In early 2014 alone, oil price spikes caused a 70 cent per gallon increase at the pump in Oregon. This volatility of oil prices creates uncertainty for consumers and businesses. By expanding fuel alternatives, Oregonians can slash their fuel costs while supporting our local economy and jobs.
Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program is a simple, reliable state program that will benefit our economy, jobs, fuel choices, and public health. The program requires gas and diesel importers to reduce their pollution by 10 percent over ten years, while opening the market to alternative fuel choices. It means expanding access and choices to Oregonians who want the option to transition to cleaner and more affordable fuels, including natural gas, electricity, and propane. It means supporting the home-grown clean fuel sector developing in Oregon, and allowing us to keep more dollars in-state, supporting local jobs and communities. And it means cleaner air and environment for healthier communities across Oregon.
Onboard Dynamics is part of a diverse coalition of businesses in favor of the state reauthorizing the Clean Fuels Program and supporting consumer choice and a stronger Oregon fuels economy. Businesses across the state recognize the opportunity we have to expand the local and regional clean fuels industry, thereby improving Oregon’s air quality. Some are developing and producing their own fuels and technologies. Others are saving dollars by converting their fleets to alternative fuels. Others have signed on to promote reduced pollution and cleaner air for healthier communities. But we all agree on one thing: It’s time to expand clean fuel choices for Oregonians.
Onboard Dynamics founded our company here in Bend with the concept that we could make it easier for the average Oregonian to choose a cleaner and more affordable fuel. We believed it was possible to move beyond traditional barriers. In partnership with OSU, state and federal agencies, and other businesses, we are developing innovative technologies that will initially target fleets, enabling them to refuel their vehicles with cleaner burning and less costly natural gas right at their business locations.
This is no longer an abstract concept. Our technology equips light-duty pickup trucks with a unique, onboard natural gas compressor system integrated into the vehicle itself, which allows for refueling anywhere there is low pressure natural gas service (60 million sites in the United States). With an understanding that innovation and technological development is an absolute must within the fuel industry, we recently received a federal award to expand our product development to market with speed. You will be able to see our technology in action as Deschutes County Road Department premiers their new bifuel Ford F-250 with our technology next year. Be on the look-out for their marked “Clean CNG” truck.
We’re proud of the work we’re doing at Onboard Dynamics. But we recognize that we are only one part of the solution. Businesses will always innovate, but we need the state to do its part and take the next steps. With consistent and supportive policy from Oregon, businesses can continue to invest in development, production, and infrastructure to support Oregonians’ fuel choice, build out a clean energy economy with local jobs, and support cleaner air for us all.
Rita Hansen, CEO
Onboard Dynamics, Inc.