As a provider of alternative fuel vehicle technology, Roush CleanTech is best known for its propane autogas and compressed natural gas fuel systems for medium-duty commercial vehicles. Recently, the company expanded its alternative fuel portfolio with an all-electric version of the Ford F-650.
Built on the OEM’s chassis, Roush CleanTech’s fully electric vehicles have a lithium ion battery system rated up to 225 kilowatt hours and 700 volts, and an AC permanent magnet motor with continuous rated power of 200 HP and peak rated power of 335 HP. Depending on the vehicle’s GVWR, its average range will be up to 120 miles, with a top speed of 75 MPH.
“An electric battery option for medium-duty trucks and buses is a great fit as there is increasing demand in this GVW range and only a few OEM solutions,” said Todd Mouw, president of Roush CleanTech. “We are excited to leverage our product development, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service expertise to support the expected growth in the medium-duty electric vehicle market.”
Already a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM)-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, Roush CleanTech is currently participating in the OEM’s eQVM process to become an Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier for electrified powertrains for commercial vehicles.
Roush CleanTech has also announced that it has received the Environmental Protection Agency’s and the California Air Resources Board’s heavy-duty onboard diagnostics certification for its propane autogas Ford 6.8L 2V and 3V engines used in medium-duty trucks and school buses rated over 14,000 lbs. GVWR.
Until the 2018 model year, alternative fuel vehicles had been exempt from this certification but are now held to the same emissions performance compliance reporting requirements as gasoline-powered vehicles. The 3V propane autogas engine available in Class 4-7 vehicles is also certified to the optional low nitrogen oxide level of 0.05 g/bhp-hr.
Propane autogas is a low-carbon fuel that reduces greenhouse gases by up to 25%, carbon monoxide by up to 60%, and nitrogen oxide by 20% compared to gasoline.
Schwan’s Home Service, a nationwide food delivery company, has announced plans to deploy 600 Roush CleanTech Ford E-450 cutaway chassis by year’s end. Each of the frozen food delivery trucks is equipped with a Ford 6.8L V10 engine and a Roush CleanTech propane autogas fuel system. Shwan’s describes itself as a firm believer in propane autogas power.
“Propane-powered vehicles have played a key role in Schwan’s product delivery for more than 40 years,” said Danielle Stariha, senior manager of fleet and procurement for Schwan’s Home Service. “Total cost of ownership for propane autogas is much lower than traditional fuels and other alternative technologies, which is why we are continually implementing the newest propane technology.”
Each Ford E-450 propane autogas truck at Schwan’s Home Service, Roush CleanTech noted, will emit about 91,000 fewer lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime than a similar gasoline-powered vehicle.
“Propane-powered vehicles are also much quieter than equivalent diesel-powered vehicles, which leads to higher levels of driver satisfaction,” said Ron Moore, vice president of warehouse and fleet operations for Schwan’s Home Service. “We deliver across the U.S., in various climates, conditions and terrains, and our drivers are excited about the propane autogas-powered E-450 chassis.”
As propane autogas grows in popularity as an alternative fuel choice, Roush CleanTech pointed out that it is increasingly important for fleets to understand the finer points of the fuel and the vehicle technology it uses. For that reason, the company offers Factory Technician Workshops for customers at its Livonia, Mich., manufacturing facility.
The two-day hands-on training sessions teach technicians about propane properties and shop safety, including how the fuel systems are manufactured. During the sessions, technicians depressurize propane fuel systems and transfer fuel between tanks, remove and install fuel system components, learn how to use service information and diagnostic equipment, and make repairs to vehicles by using the skills they have learned.