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Wal-Mart to Introduce Four Class 8 HPDI LNG Trucks Into Service in California

The Peterbilt aerodynamically-styled 386 Class 8 truck.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will introduce four liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled Peterbilt 386 trucks equipped with Westport Innovations’s HPDI LNG system and Cummins ISX engines into service at its distribution center in Apple Valley, California. HPDI uses a small amount of diesel to ignite the natural gas in the engine and provides diesel-equivalent torque, horsepower and a range of 400-450 miles. (Earlier post.)

The deployment will be supported in part by funding from the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District’s (MDAQMD) Mobile Source Emission Reductions Competitive Bidding Program.

The four trucks in this proposal will be used in Wal-Mart’s over-the-road (OTR) goods distribution operations in the MDAQMD. The project will also demonstrate the effectiveness of Westport’s commercially available technology and will work to grow the heavy-duty natural gas market.

Our experience shows that by using natural gas, Westport’s LNG fuel system can help Wal-Mart reduce their fleet vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions by some 20 per cent and NOx emissions by between 30 and 50 per cent over their diesel equivalents.

This represents a significant milestone for Westport as we have been actively pursuing large private and commercial truck fleets. We are very proud to be given the opportunity to showcase Westport’s innovative approach to commercial transportation with an environmental leader like Wal-Mart.

—Michael Gallagher, president and chief operating officer of Westport

Westport’s LNG system for heavy duty Class 8 trucks offers lower criteria and greenhouse gas emissions than comparable diesel engines, and allows trucking fleets to move to lower-cost, natural gas and/or biogas. Based on the industry-leading Cummins ISX diesel engine with cooled EGR, the LNG version of the engine offers the same horsepower, torque, and efficiency as the base diesel engine rating it is replacing.

The Cummins ISX dual overhead cam design delivers high performance and exceptional braking every mile. Variable Geometry Turbocharging produces quicker throttle response with less turbo lag for faster acceleration off the line and on highway on-ramps. Infinite adjustment provides the exact amount of boost needed at every engine speed. The 2007 Westport LNG system is available with 400 and 450 hp ratings and up to 1,750 lb-ft torque for heavy-duty port, goods distribution and other commercial truck applications. LNG fuel tanks can be configured to suit customer range requirements.

The Westport LNG system comprises LNG fuel tanks, proprietary Westport fuel injectors, cryogenic fuel pumps and associated electronic components to facilitate robust performance and reliable operation. The Westport LNG system is 2008 EPA and CARB certified to 0.8g/bhp-hr NOx and 0.01g/bhp-hr PM. Trucks are eligible for a federal tax credits in the United States and may be eligible for other state-specific emissions credits.

Last week, Kenworth Truck Company announced that it will begin production of Kenworth Class 8 T800 LNG trucks at its manufacturing facility in Renton, Washington in 2009. Under an exclusive agreement with Westport Innovations Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., Kenworth will use Westport’s LNG HPDI fuel system technology adapted for the Cummins ISX 15-liter engine. (Earlier post.) Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF are all nameplates of PACCAR.

In 2007, PACCAR and Eaton Corporation entered into an agreement to develop jointly proprietary hybrid technology for heavy-duty commercial vehicles in North America. The new products will be introduced exclusively in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks in the North American market, targeted for initial production by the end of 2009. (Earlier post.)

Eaton’s heavy-duty hybrid electric power system will be built using an automated manual transmission with a parallel-type direct hybrid system, incorporating an electric motor/generator located between the output of an automated clutch and the input to a Fuller UltraShift transmission.

The system will support regenerative braking, with the power used to provide electric motor torque for blending with engine torque to improve vehicle performance; to operate the engine in a more fuel-efficient range for a given speed; or to operate with electric power only.

Wal-Mart, which operates the nation’s second largest private fleet, is also supporting development of these technologies by helping to validate the concept and refine the final design.



Not good for the biodiesel industry....but LNG still comes from oil fields & is non-renewable...so biodiesel may still be the more attractive longer term solution for the trucking industry/system.


I am not sure how much biodiesel is available where these trucks are, but there is probably lots of natural gas in the pipes that can be compressed and cooled into LNG.


Don't forget these trucks could also run on methane from biogas. So it could still be renewable, in time.


It will take an awful lot of biomass to produce the methane for these sustainably. Better that they get electrified at some point in the future. The drive towards natural gas powered vehicles is a recipe for very high fuel prices.


Electrify trucks? You'd do better to move the freight to rail and electrify that. The bigger the vehicle the worst batteries are as a solution. And trucks? They are driven for profit, which means drivers like to keep them moving (loaded with cargo) - not sitting around recharging.

But if you still want to use trucks, and reduce your carbon emissions, going from diesel to methane, then phasing in biomethane, then adding in hydrogen to make hythane is a logical progression. (This at least "electrifies" the fuel production.) Westport Innovations, the company that supplied the LNG system for these trucks also makes hythane systems.

You're right though, "it will take an awful lot of biomass to produce the methane for these sustainably." So its best if we reduce the demand by
1. moving as much cargo it rail as possible.
2. electrify our cars to save the biomass for where its really needed. (FFV are a hoax)


CalStart has been working on cleaner trucks for years. Hybrids, LNG, CNG and all kinds of configurations.

As far as making methane from biomass, with gasification you should be able to get more than 100 therms per ton. Now a therm does not contain the BUTs of diesel fuel, but it sure is clean.

With 300 million tons of biomass to use, that would be 30 billion therms or maybe equivalent to 20 billion gallons of diesel. Now, we can not use that biomass ALL for NG and ALL for ethanol and so on, but it shows that we can replace a bit of imported oil if we try.


Actually, there is a LOT more recoverable natural gas out there than crude oil--some say as much as 10 to 15 times more. And biomass can be used to produce methane gas, which in compressed form can be used in engines that run on natural gas.

I see a transition from gasoline to a combination of compressed natural gas, diesel and PHEV's by 2015-2020 time frame until battery technology finally catches up, which will essentially result in everyone driving battery electric vehicles--probably by 2025. By 2030, people will be looking back on how quaint it was to use gasoline to fuel automobiles. :-)

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