In partnership with Agility Fuel Solutions, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc., has unveiled its Fuso FE CNG concept truck. This is a collaboration project between Fuso and Agility with further tests and market studies underway to determine the next steps for this product. The announcement said a potential CNG aftermarket solution from Agility could occur by 2020.
For the concept Fuso FE truck, Agility, Costa Mesa, Calif. is providing a complete CNG fuel system, including a CARB and EPA-certified low-NOx natural gas fuel system for the GM Powertrain V8 6.0L engine that is standard on all FE gas trucks. Agility is also providing dual side-mounted CNG storage systems with 30 gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) capacity, an integrated regulator assembly and a fuel fill panel. The FE CNG is estimated to have a driving range of 190 miles.
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 three-phase catalyst instead of a more complex aftertreatment system. The truck is also reportedly quieter, a consideration for urban operations.
Mitsubishi Fuso said the FE gas truck has been designed for 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, Mitsubishi Fuso said, 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.
Scheduled maintenance and service work will be conducted or coordinated at all independent FUSO dealerships in the United States and Canada.
Of course, environmental benefits are a key to adopting CNG-powered trucks. Mitsubishi Fuso said the FE CNG will experience a 15 to 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and more substantial reductions in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NOx).
CNG is another interesting candidate for the truck market as fleets of all sizes and manufacturers of all classes investigate their options for propulsion. There are reportedly over 160,000 natural gas vehicles are operating in the U.S. According the U.S. Department of Energy, over 1600 compressed natural gas fueling stations are available in the United States. This fueling station network in major metropolitan regions and transportation corridors would seem to increase the ability of medium-duty truck operators to use CNG-powered trucks, especially in urban city environments.
“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 project, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. “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.”
”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 – Powertrain Systems. “CNG is an excellent option for return-to-base and urban delivery fleets, with an attractive total cost of ownership.”