Wal-Mart Ripe For The Pickens?

wal mart ripe for the pickens

Say what you want about oil tycoon-cum alt-energy evangelist T. Boone Pickens, the man has some instincts on him. Wal-Mart has been studying ways to reduce its energy usage (for purely altruistic reasons, of course) and Pickens smells blood in the water. Reuters reports that the Texan CNG honcho has convinced Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott to consider retrofitting its entire diesel truck fleet with CNG power as an energy-saving, cost-cutting measure. Wal-Mart currently operates some 8,500 diesel trucks in its supply-chain network, and a presentation by Pickens to a Wal-Mart associates meeting has convinced Scott to consider the retrofit. According to a weekly Pickens email, Scott was “impressed by the Pickens Plan.” The email continues, “to have America’s largest retailer looking into shifting their trucking fleet to run on natural gas is a major step towards our country’s energy independence.” And a major step towards making Mr Pickens a boatload of cash. Pickens has invested his oil fortune in wind power and CNG, and a Wal-Mart retrofit could mean a huge contract and increased media exposure for CNG as a transportation alternative. Like Pickens though, every decision at Wal-Mart comes down to dollars and cents. We still don’t know how much a CNG fleet conversion would cost or save Wal-Mart. Until we do, there’s no telling whether Pickens’ CNG revolution will get off the ground.

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  • Edward Niedermeyer Edward Niedermeyer on Sep 18, 2008
    Its kind of the easy way to get you out of their office and building. Just nod and smile….then laugh after the door shuts. Yeah, the fact that the story originates with a Pickens "weekly email" kinda says it all...

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 18, 2008

    N85523, Good one. I see you are a Pelosi fan. It's nice to know we have such bright national leaders.

  • RedStapler RedStapler on Sep 18, 2008

    It has been already be done on a smaller scale by a Raley's/Bel Air in Northern CA. They run Kenworth T800s on LNG. You can read all about it here: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy00osti/27678.pdf Given that the new 2007+ emissions diesels consume 10-25% more fuel for the same performance while costing $5-10k more I could see how LNG has some appeal. Diesel is still North of $4/gal in most parts, so the $1.50-2 gallon of diesel equivalent for LNG looks good right now. PaulB: With the excpetion of a few demo units of the the Peterbilt Hybrid 386 Wal Marts fleet is all International 9200s and ProStars.

  • Roamer Roamer on Sep 18, 2008

    They're all finite resources. Moving from a single one to many means they'll all last longer. And if Wal-Mart does do this, it means that CNG will become a viable alternative fuel for automakers. Up next, a Hybrid CNG. Hopefully running in the WRC.