Try-It Distributing Unveils New CNG Fleet and Filling Station; Project is One of the Largest Private CNG Fleets in New York State

December 18, 2013

Try-It Distributing Co., Inc. today (December 18, 2013) launched its new fleet of 43 delivery trucks powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) and, in partnership with American Natural Gas (ANG), opened a CNG filling station accessible to the public in front of Try-It’s headquarters building, 4155 Walden Avenue, Lancaster, NY.

The beverage distribution company, founded in 1928, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark its shift from diesel fuel to domestic natural gas resources.Try-It was awarded $1 million by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. NYSERDA funding will cover a portion of the cost to lease the CNG vehicles.

Paul Vukelic, Try-It’s President and COO, said: “The Try-It Family and our stakeholders are excited about the significant environmental benefit of this effort that uses an abundant domestic resource. Try-It’s project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 390 tons annually – equivalent to taking 80 cars off the road. Our company is among the first large beverage distributors in the nation to convert its fleet.”

He added: “With the help of our partners, ANG and NYSERDA, we are expanding the clean and alternative energy infrastructure in Western New York, reducing our operating costs, and will continue to promote our energy independence. We could not be more proud.”

Drew West, ANG Founder and CEO, said: "American Natural Gas is pleased to partner with Try-It Distributing in its efforts to convert its fleet to a clean and domestic alternative fuel. The Try-It facility is an example of our commitment to providing world class, publicly accessible CNG infrastructure capable of accommodating all vehicle sizes. ANG looks forward to providing premier fueling services to Try-It Distributing and its subsidiaries, allowing them to operate a significantly cleaner and more cost effective delivery fleet."

The CNG filling station is owned and operated by American Natural Gas. It is able to fuel all CNG-powered vehicles – from tractor-trailers to consumer-owned cars. The initial fuel price is $2.19 per unit of GGE (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent). Vukelic noted that automakers including Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge and Honda are entering the CNG market with various models of cars, vans and pickup trucks. “This signals a whole new world of energy possibilities, “ he said.

“Try-It Distributing’s commitment to using a cleaner, alternative fuel is an example of how the transportation sector can have far-reaching impacts on New York’s economic and environmental well-being,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “This project highlights how the State, under Governor Cuomo, continues its investment in projects that stimulate the clean-energy economy and help businesses reduce their operating expenses.”

NYSERDA’s $1 million in funding for this project is made possible through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. New York State’s proceeds from RGGI support the State’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon abatement technology.

Howard A. Zemsky, Managing Partner at Larkin Development Group and Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Co-Chair, said: “I commend Try-It for its investment in this project, which will be instrumental in furthering the region’s sustainability efforts. Projects like this one bolster the State’s clean-energy infrastructure and can provide all New Yorkers with a cleaner environment.” “Try-It Distributing is a forward-thinking company that emphasizes environmental stewardship as part of its corporate philosophy, “ said Satish K. Tripathi, President of the University at Buffalo, and REDC Co-Chair.“Try-It is a leader in Western New York and serves as a model for other companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, which is essential for long-term economic security and protection of New York’s environment.”

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I), Elma), deputy Republican Conference Leader for Economic Development, said: "For over 80 years, Try-It Distributing has been a recognized leader in innovation within the beverage distribution industry locally, regionally and across the nation. That record of accomplishment continues today, as it converts its fleet to compressed natural gas, an environmentally friendly and energy efficient alternative fuel. I congratulate Try-It, the Vukelic Family and Try-It’s hundreds of employees in Lancaster and across the State.”

Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D, Cheektowaga) said: “It is great to see that Try-It is able to adopt CNG technology that will reduce the cost to fuel their fleet while being friendlier to the environment. I am hopeful that NYSERDA will continue to enable other area businesses to do the same in the months and years ahead.”