Distributor and Master Marketing Pact with Large Network
American Power Group has disclosed a national distributor and master marketing agreement with WheelTime Network. Under the terms of the agreement, WheelTime will endorse APG’s dual fuel technology for converting trucks to a natural gas-diesel mix, “and engage its member companies in establishing a North American network to market and install APG’s vehicular turbocharged natural gas systems,” APG says.
APG describes its dual fuel system as a cost-effective and non-invasive dual fuel conversion for trucks, stationary generators and off-road diesel engines. For trucks, APG offers a 300- to 800-mile dual fuel range with no loss of power and torque and, depending on the route profile, an average annual net fuel savings of 15% to 30% over 100% diesel.
“We see natural gas as an important and necessary development in our industry,” WheelTime president Mike Delaney says in the APG release. “Accordingly, WheelTime made a strategic decision earlier this year to begin taking the necessary steps to become a center of excellence for the installation and service of natural gas engines.”
‘A Terrific Way to Logically Build’
“We see duel fuel as a terrific way to logically build toward critical mass,” Delaney told F&F.
“We already work on natural gas at a number of locations where we have gas customers, and in those locations we have [facility] upgrades in place,” he says.
“Duel fuel, however, is easier to accommodate. Due to the nature of duel fuel systems, we can install them at virtually any location today.
“With duel fuel,” Delaney says, “we can install indoors and simply drive the vehicle out on diesel to charge it, since the truck can run on diesel alone with no gas present. As the customer base grows – which we believe it will quickly due to the wide range of applications for duel fuel and the quick payback – we will look to upgrade shops to accommodate the growing demands for more natural gas work.”
“As with the trucks,” he concludes, “we see duel fuel as a terrific way to logically build toward critical mass on the service side without having to spend millions of dollars up front to upgrade 200 locations right away.”
“We believe diesel engine dual fuel conversions will be an evolutionary step for natural gas,” Delaney says in the APG release, “providing a low risk way for fleets to get the benefit of natural gas fuel savings and giving existing equipment new life.” He said too that the APG “provides the best overall customer value” in the dual fuel upfit sector.
APG’s Biggest Move Ever?
APG says that its system faces “no practical design limits for engine models or horsepower,” and is U.S. EPA-approved for 88 engine families with approval for more than 200 more expected by the end of 2013. Operators with the APG upfit can return their trucks to 100% diesel operation at any time. “At end-of-life or vehicular rotation, the APG system and natural gas tank can be easily removed and installed on another EPA approved engine,” APG says.
The WheelTime Network encompasses 18 member companies providing installation and warranty support through nearly 200 service centers, 2,800 service bays, 3,000 factory-trained technicians and 30 training facilities located across the United States and Canada.
APG CEO Lyle Jensen said that the tie-with WheelTime “is clearly one of the most important marketing and operational milestones in our company’s history.”
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Source: APG release with Fleets & Fuels follow-up