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Mitsubishi Fuso CNG concept

Mitsubishi Fuso, Agility Fuel develop FE CNG concept truck

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America recently unveiled its FUSO FE CNG concept truck developed with alternative fuels system provider Agility Fuel Solutions.

The truck represents a working collaboration between both companies, they said, potentially providing a more environmentally friendly work truck option for the United States and Canada.

More than 160,000 natural gas vehicles are operating in the US, and, according the US Department of Energy, more than 1,600 compressed natural gas fueling stations are available in the country. This fueling station network in major metropolitan regions and transportation corridors has increased the ability of medium-duty truck operators to use CNG-powered trucks, especially in urban city environments, Mitsubishi said.

“Using Agility’s experience in CNG will benefit our customers by enabling a reliable, integrated CNG-powered solution for our existing FUSO FE GAS truck models,” said Jasmin Kluge, project manager for alternative fuels projects at Mitsubishi Fuso. “The additional benefit is its total cost-of-ownership advantage: lower fuel cost, less maintenance, less emissions and less noise, making this a win-win for truck fleets’ bottom line and environmental stewardship.”

Operating CNG-powered trucks provides environmental benefits compared to more traditional truck powertrains, the company claimed. The FE CNG will experience a 15% to 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and more substantial reductions in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NOx).

The CNG system on the FE CNG truck is certified to the California Air Resources Board’s optional low NOx standard. Because CNG engines produce essentially no particulates, the aftertreatment system is a simple three-phase catalyst instead of the complex aftertreatment system found on all newer diesel trucks. The truck produces no smell or smoke, and is quieter than a diesel-powered truck.

Agility has experience in natural gas vehicles, having provided CNG cylinders or systems for more than 60,000 trucks and buses worldwide, Mitsubishi said. On the FE GAS truck, Agility is providing a complete end-to-end CNG fuel system, including dual side-mounted CNG storage systems with 30-gasoline-gallon-equivalent (GGE) capacity, an integrated regulator assembly and a fuel fill panel, and a CARB and EPA-certified low-NOx natural gas fuel system for the GM Powertrain V8 6.0-liter engine that is standard on all FE GAS trucks.

The FE CNG is estimated to have a driving range of 190 miles, the company said.

The FE GAS was designed for easy integration into customers’ fleet operations. The CNG fuel system drives the OEM fuel gauge, providing the driver with a familiar fuel level between empty and full, rather than a pressure value. Because the CNG system does not significantly increase the weight of the truck, the overall payload capacity for the FE CNG is not greatly impacted, allowing operators to continue to deliver roughly the same amount of goods compared to other powertrain models, the company maintained.

The FE CNG truck offers fleet operators potential operational savings and an attractive total cost of ownership. CNG fuel offers savings at the pump compared to gasoline and diesel. Further, because of the reduction of emissions control systems and other components, overall maintenance costs will be lower compared to a diesel truck. Scheduled maintenance and service work will be conducted or coordinated at any of the independent Fuso dealerships located across the United States and Canada.

Further tests and market studies are underway to determine the next steps for this product, the companies said, with a potential CNG aftermarket solution from Agility expected by 2020.

”We are excited to work with Fuso to develop a CNG option for the FUSO’s FE GAS platform,” said Brad Garner, Agility’s president of powertrain systems. “CNG is an excellent option for return-to-base and urban delivery fleets, with an attractive total cost of ownership.”

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