Revised in the fall of 2014, the Heavy-duty Truck and Bus Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Roadmap by the California Hybrid, Efficient and Advanced Truck (CalHEAT) Research Center operated by CALSTART concludes that, “The recent increase in supply of natural gas in the United States along with a highly attractive price point, nearly half that of diesel fuel, have created the an opportunity for a significant market growth of Class 8 trucks to occur.
“In addition,” the report continues, “policy drivers in California pressing for near zero and zero emissions combined with the need for significant reductions in greenhouse gases [GHGs] have created a compelling scenario for market growth should Class 8 Truck manufacturers offer drivetrain solutions with the performance, efficiencies, and reliability and cost of ownership to meet the needs of the Class 8 truck and bus fleets.”
That’s a message not lost on truck OEMs that are offering natural gas options for fleets concerned about emissions and wanting to utilize the nation’s abundant supply of natural gas to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Despite short-term infrastructure questions regarding widespread adoption of natural gas as a heavy-duty truck fuel, it’s clear this segment will grow over the next several years.
Among the currently available natural gas Class offerings for over-the-road operations are the following:
- The Freightliner Cascadia 113 tractor incorporates the Cummins Westport ISX12 G heavy-duty natural gas engine and is offered with a variety of CNG and LNG fuel tank options. The factory-installed ISX12 G engine is compatible with either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). A number of vendor-installed fuel tank options range up to a 190 diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) CNG capacity, and up to a 300 gallon (168 DGE) LNG capacity.
- The International TranStar CNG featuring the Cummins Westport ISL G spark-ignited, turbocharged compressed natural gas engine offers 320 HP and 1,000 ft./lbs. of torque. Fuel capacity options include 75 diesel gallon equivalent tanks mounted under the cab on 4×2 models and at the back of the cab on 6×4 versions of the tractor.
- The Kenworth T680 in day cab and 52-in. mid-roof and 76-in. sleeper configurations is offered in a natural gas option. The models are available with the factory-installed Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engines rated up to 400 HP and 1,450 ft./lbs. of torque. The ISX12 G engine can run on either CNG or LNG.
- The Mack Pinnacle powered by natural gas, available in axle back or axle forward configurations, is fitted with a Cummins Westport engine capable of operating on compressed or liquid natural gas and even landfill gas (LFG) or hydrogen compressed natural gas (HCNG) that meets Cummins minimum fuel quality specifications. The 12-liter engine has a peak rating of 400 HP and 1,450 ft./lbs. of torque.
- The Peterbilt 579 in a compressed natural gas configuration has the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine available with ratings of 320 to 400 HP and 1,150 to 1,450 ft./lbs. of torque.
- Volvo VNM 200 and VNL 300 natural gas spark ignition powered trucks feature Cummins ISL G and ISX12 G compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas powered engines.
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