Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE) has joined an investment group providing funding to help launch a new, natural gas vehicle made in the United States for taxi and paratransit use. The Company has committed a $10-million investment in an overall $160-million equity financing led by Perseus LLC, a merchant bank and private equity fund management company. Separately, Clean Energy’s co-founder, T. Boone Pickens, has committed a $10-million investment to the funding package. The funding will be provided to The Vehicle Production Group LLC (http://www.vpgautos.com), the original equipment manufacturer of the multi-purpose vehicle.
“We are making this strategic investment to help bring new, efficient, clean natural gas vehicles to the market in the United States,” said Andrew Littlefair, Clean Energy President and CEO. “Demand for natural gas vehicles is surging, particularly with the high cost of petroleum fuel and the savings to be gained by using natural gas fuel.”
Designed and engineered by seasoned automotive engineers with extensive input from taxicab and paratransit operators across North America, the new vehicle, available in both gasoline- and natural gas-powered models, is durable, cost-efficient to operate, and easy to maintain. With a focus on accessibility, it provides seating positions for four passengers and additional space for a wheelchair or scooter, which is compliant with the vehicle standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
VPG expects to begin delivery of the vehicles in 2010.
Clean Energy is the leading provider of natural gas (CNG and LNG) for transportation in North America. It has a broad customer base in the refuse, transit, ports, shuttle, taxi, trucking, airport and municipal fleet markets, fueling more than 14,000 vehicles daily at strategic locations across the United States and Canada. Clean Energy del Peru, Clean Energy’s Peruvian joint venture, operates the world’s largest natural gas vehicle fueling station in Lima, Peru. Information at: www.cleanenergyfuels.com.
Forward-Looking Statements This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, including the timing and number of any vehicles ultimately produced. The forward-looking statements made herein speak only as of the date of this press release and the company undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.