Mack offers a natural gas-powered TerraPro refuse truck, also powered by a Cummins Westport ISL G rated 320 hp. Kenworth has begun offering the Cummins Westport ISL G engine as a factory-installed option, and some have gone into service at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. “The biggest problem we have in the heavy-duty Class 8 over-the-road is there’s absolutely no (natural gas) infra- structure,” Bob Carrick, Western region vocational manag- er for Daimler. “That’s probably going to take five years to shake out, and in the meantime we need some additional engine platforms that will operate on natural gas and be able to pull 80,000 lb. loads at 75 mph and go anywhere they can find fuel.” Forgoing fossil fuels altogether, Vision Industries Corp. has partnered with fuel cell supplier Hydrogenics Corp. to develop and manufacture the Tyrano, a plug-in electric/hydrogen fuel cell-powered Class 8 short haul truck. Developed in part through funding from the state of California, the initial units will be tested and demonstrated in and around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Tyrano is configured with HyPM 16 fuel modules and 16. 5 or 33 kg of hydrogen storage. The truck can generate up to 536 hp with 3300 lb.ft. of available torque and has a standard range of 200 miles over an eight-hour shift, said the company. The biggest hurdle toward greater application of heavy- duty hybrids and other alternatives remains economic. While emissions reduction and fuel economy have been demonstrated, in most cases the technology itself remains cost prohibitive for most commercial truck users. “The challenge is that all of our customers will say that they really want to go green as long as it pays green,” said David Bryant, vocational sales manager for hybrids at Daimler. “The business case has to be there. “So without incentives, without some sort of govern- ment incentive to help bridge the gap as we look to devel- op and deploy these advanced technologies, you sell a few trucks for photo ops. There are a lot of customers who
A CAD rendering of Parker’s Run Wise hydrostatic hybrid powertrain for refuse applications. The engine powers the pumps, which tops off the accumulators, and the pressure in the accumulators is fed through a pump motor to the rear axle to propel the vehicle.
want to try a few, but there are very few customers who are going to deploy significant numbers in their fleet.” Increasing fuel costs could provide more opportunities for hybrids, according to DeCoster. “When diesel fuel prices were in the $2.50 per gallon range, a business case for any hybrid on Class 7/Class 8 truck is difficult with the possible exception of refuse vehicles, because the cost of fuel is low relative to capital outlay,” he said. “If diesel prices rise to the $4 per gallon range, it’s dramatic how fast this contributes to the payback of the capital outlay for a hybrid system.” Darren Gosbee, director of hybrid strategy and execu- tion at Navistar, predicted that the next likely engine emis- sions regulations will target CO2. “That focus is directly correlated with the amount of fuel that is actually burned during the combustion process,” he said. “So the more effi- cient you can make the engine and the powertrain system, the less CO2 you put out.” “It gets everybody’s attention when we start to talk about regulations,” added Bryant. “That’s the key — when fleets are mandated to reduce their carbon footprint, then you have to look at what are the technologies that are available to do it or what are the technologies that need to be de- ployed to help fleets do that. And hybrids can help. It’s one piece of the puzzle. It’s not the only piece.” dp
February 2010 DIESEL PROGRESS NORTH AMERICAN EDI TION 15 SEE DIRECTLINK WWW.DIESELPROGRESS.COM