CNG with Landi Renzo and Likely Others,
Propane with Bi-Phase, both via Utilimaster
Isuzu Trucks is venturing into compressed natural gas and propane, tapping Utilimaster to do upfits using 6.0-liter spark engines from GM in its Class 4 NPR HD trucks.
“We are now stepping into a new world,” says John Marshall, senior sales and marketing VP with Utilimaster. “We are going to install the upfit system at the same place we assemble the truck,” he said at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis last week. Utilimaster is a unit of Spartan Motors, which handles Isuzu vehicles in Charlotte, Mich. The firm is best known for truck bodies. Elsewhere in the alt fuels world, it does bodies for Azure Dynamics, Electric Vehicles International and Smith Electric Vehicles, Marshall says.
Beyond Schwan’s Now for Hugely Experienced Bi-Phase Technologies
A CNG-fueled Isuzu NPR with Landi Renzo USA fuel system was shown in Indianapolis by Utilimaster, while Isuzu displayed a Schwan Foods NPR with propane system by Bi-Phase Technologies, the Schwan Food subsidiary that’s outfitted some 10,000 Schwan’s trucks – with upwards of 5,000 still in service.
Now that Bi-Phase system is being offered to other fleets, Utilimaster will take advantage of some 350 existing Schwann’s facilities for aftermarket service, Marshall says. Some, he told F&F, will be able to perform conversions of existing vehicles to gaseous fuels. These would be located near ship-through centers.
The dedicated-propane Bi-Phase system will be available for other vehicles too, says the Schwan Food unit’s John Roberts. A Bi-Phase system for Ford trucks with the 5.4-liter engine is already certified with both the U.S. EPA and in California, he says, with approvals for the 6.8-liter engine for larger trucks like the F-550 coming soon.
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