Fleet Operators to Be Able to Order This Year
As Peterbilt and Autocar Are First to the Fore
Operators of compressed natural gas-fueled refuse trucks are being reassured that OEMs will offer vehicles with the super-low NOx Near Zero version of the Cummins Westport ISL G in time for their traditional fourth-quarter ordering cycle.
The ISL G NZ engine was announced nearly one year ago, but engineering details have thus far prevented refuse truck manufacturers from being able to quote NZ-powered vehicles to their customers.
“They will offer it. It’s just a matter of when,” says Sean Wine of Clean Energy Fuels, the leading provider of renewable natural gas for vehicles, sold under the tradename Redeem.
Coupled with the use of RNG, the ISL G NZ engine makes heavy duty natural gas vehicles competitive with battery electric vehicles on a well-to-wheels basis. Fleets & Fuels publisher GNA/Gladstein, Neandross & Associates issued a detailed analysis dubbed Game Changer at ACT Expo 2016 this past May (F&F, May 10).
At least one bus manufacturer has stepped up, as New Flyer Industries said last week that it is making the Near Zero option available to transit operators this year (F&F, August 17).
Peterbilt Pledges Two Models This Year, a Third for 2017
But in the refuse sector, “Nobody has that offering today,” Wine says.
That’s changing, however: Peterbilt advised today that it will introduce the ISL G NZ engine to its product line this year. The engine is to be available on Peterbilt 520 and 320 trucks by year-end, and on the Model 567 in early 2017.
“This information,” a spokeswoman told F&F today, “will be distributed in a press release later this week.”
Autocar Says It’s ‘First in Line’
“We’re first in line as far as we know,” says VP Adam Burck of Autocar parent GVW Group. He says he expects Autocar to receive the first production engines from Cummins Westport by year-end, and to commence Near Zero truck deliveries early in 2017.
Orders? “We already have firm interest from customers,” Burck says: “a goodly number.” Some 60% of Autocar refuse trucks are CNG-fueled, the company says.
There Is Money to Be Had
Wine notes that several California agencies are offering grant money for Near Zero refuse truck buys. The funding opportunities include
- $2.5 million from MSRC, Southern California’s Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, to repower existing refuse collection trucks with the new engine – up to $25,000 per vehicle (F&F, May 13);
- $15,000 per ISL G NZ-powered vehicle though HVIP, the California Air Resources Board’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project; and
- new money for medium and heavy duty vehicle demonstrations from the California Energy Commission – a pre-solicitation workshop is being planned for September.
“These guys have to buy,” says Wine. “They’re not going to wait for Near Zero,” he told F&F. “We could miss out on this window of opportunity.”
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Source: Fleets & Fuels interviews