Natural gas heavy-duty trucking fleet could benefit economy

Switching from diesel fuel to natural gas may hold advantages for the US heavy-duty trucking fleet, but more needs to be done to reach the full environmental benefits, according to a new white paper released by the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, and Rice University.

The recent shale-driven emergence of natural gas as an abundant, inexpensive fuel in the US has raised the possibility of a “momentous shift” in the level of natural gas used in transportation. The cost advantage of natural gas over diesel fuel is particularly appealing for vehicles with a high intensity of travel and thus fuel use. In the paper, the team investigated the possibility that natural gas could be utilized to provide fuel cost savings, geographic supply diversity and environmental benefits for the heavy-duty trucking sector—and whether it can enable a transition to lower carbon transport fuels. Read more »

AmeriPride Morgan Olson walk-in van

Lightning Hybrids introducing hydraulic hybrid system on walk-in box truck

Lightning Hybrids, developer and manufacturer of hydraulic hybrid systems for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, will introduce the application of its first emission-reducing brake regeneration technology on a walk-in box truck. The debut will take place during the South Shore Clean Cities annual meeting in Merrillville, Indiana, on 17 February.

Lightning Hybrids’ hydraulic hybrid system on the vehicle, featuring a Ford F59 chassis and Morgan Olson Route Star walk-in van body, enhances fuel efficiency while significantly reducing emissions. Read more »

ICCT reviews real-world tractor-trailer fuel economy in US, China and Europe

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has published a new paper reviewing and summarizing data on commercial vehicle sales and real-world fuel consumption for heavy-duty tractor-trailers in the three key markets of the US, China and Europe, which together account for more than 70% of HDV sales worldwide.

The review found that in the US, average tractor-trailer fuel consumption rates for the entire fleet are approximately 39 L/100 km (6 mpg). For the newest US models, fuel consumption is typically between 33 and 36 L/100 km (6.5–7 mpg). A fleet-wide analysis done for the European Commission estimates tractor-trailer fuel consumption at roughly 31 L/100 km (7.6 mpg), while tests of individual vehicles done by trucking magazines suggest somewhat higher average rates of consumption at approximately 36 to 38 L/100 km (6.5 to 6.2 mpg). Chassis dynamometer testing performed as part of the regulatory development process in China reveals that tractor-trailers seem to have much higher fuel consumption rates, on average, than in the US and the EU, with laboratory results yielding an average of 44 L/100 km (5.4 mpg). Read more »

Wartsila-LNG

New LNG bunker vessel for Shell to be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines

A specialized LNG bunker vessel to be built at the STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Company yard in South Korea on behalf of Shell will be powered by Wärtsilä DF dual-fuel engines. The ship will be used to deliver gas to LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) fueled vessels in Northwest Europe. The newbuild contract is in direct response to the increasing acceptance by the shipping industry of LNG as a marine fuel. The engine order was placed with Wärtsilä in December 2014. Read more »