Westport Innovations Inc has received an A$1.36 million (US$1.06 million) from the Australian Government’s Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme (AFCP) for a project to evaluate the use of LNG as a fuel for heavy-duty highway trucks in Australia.
Mitchell Corp., Sands Fridge Lines and Murray Goulburn Cooperative, who each operate large fleets of long-distance trucks, will acquire four new Kenworth T404SAR trucks powered by 2008 model Cummins 15-liter engines incorporating Westport’s LNG fuel technology.
Emissions and performance tests will be performed to quantify greenhouse gas, noise, and regulated emissions benefits while demonstrating the performance and economic advantages of LNG in real world use in Australia.
The price differential between diesel and LNG, combined with the very high mileage put on some of these trucks, could deliver over A$130,000 (US$102,000) in annual fuel cost savings per truck.
Of course, LNG will also deliver lower nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, compared to operation on diesel fuel. Depending on the duty cycle and the test protocol used, we would expect 15% to 20% reductions in greenhouse gases or approximately 130 tonnes per year on a tank-to-wheel basis for a truck operating 400,000 kilometers per year.—Bruce Hodgins, Westport’s Vice President of Market Development
For this program, Westport will adapt the North American version of its LNG system for Australian engines and operating conditions. This will include delivery of higher horsepower and torque ratings of 410 kW (550 hp) / 2,508 Nm (1,850 lb-ft) and 362 kW (485 hp) / 2,237 Nm (1650 lb-ft), and certification to the Australian ADR 80/02 emissions standard.
This program will also provide information to allow the partners to assess their potential involvement in a commercial LNG truck offering in Australia. According to industry reports, more than 10,000 new heavy duty trucks are sold in Australia each year.
The Alternative Fuels Conversion Program is an Australian Government funding program which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks by encouraging increased use of alternative fuels or hybrid diesel/electric engines.