United Parcel Service has agreed to install dual-fuel engine management software developed by Clean Air Power into 10 long-haul semi-tractor trucks to allow the heavy duty diesel-powered engines to operate primarily on natural gas.
Clean Air Power will install its new Genesis Edge Dual-Fuel into the company’s Volvo D13 and Mack MP8 engines. The trucks will operate out of the UPS facility in Ontario, Calif., which has a liquefied and compressed natural gas fueling station on site. The trucks are expected to be operational by October 2013.
The 10 trucks, which will travel more than 100,000 miles per month, will provide information and data on the performance and reliability of the dual-fuel software, Clean Air Power says.
UPS has been operating 9 Caterpillar C12 tractor units with Clean Air Power’s dual-fuel system since 2002. Each truck has completed more than 1 million miles.
Clean Air Power’s dual-fuel system is designed to operate primarily on natural gas with diesel fuel acting as a “liquid spark plug.” If the natural gas supply runs out, the system seamlessly changes to operate on diesel fuel, Clean Air Power says.
The system also can operate normally on bio-methane and bio-diesel, giving it the potential to be carbon-neutral.
The California Energy Commission funded this demonstration project under an alternative and renewable fuel and vehicle technology program designed to accelerate the use of alternative fuels in California’s transportation market.
In April, UPS announced plans to purchase about 700 liquefied natural gas 18-wheelers and build four refueling stations to serve its heavy-weight rigs by the end of 2014.
UPS expects to save 40 percent in fuel costs by switching its long-haul semi-tractor trailer fleet to natural gas.
UPS has more than 1,000 natural gas vehicles worldwide. Natural gas prices — which are 30 to 40 percent lower than imported diesel — and the boom in domestic gas production prompted the company to invest more aggressively in the infrastructure necessary to make natural gas part of its US delivery network, UPS says. The company also says natural gas generates 25 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than diesel fuel.