ROUSH CleanTech has begun development of a liquid propane autogas fuel system for the Ford E-350 dual rear wheel (DRW) cutaway chassis. While this vehicle is used extensively by Frito-Lay, the first customer for the fuel system conversion, other fleets will also be able to utilize this technology to make the switch to propane autogas.
The E-350 DRW cutaway will be based on the Ford 5.4-liter, 2-valve V-8 engine and planned for first quarter 2011 production.
Based on the proposed project, this appears to be a viable solution to improve our cost per mile, as well as reduce our environmental footprint. If technically successful, and if the conversion economics continue to be favorable, there is potential within the Frito-Lay fleet to convert up to 2,000 gasoline-powered vehicles to propane autogas across the U.S. within the next several years.—Joe Gold, fleet asset and engineering manager at Frito-Lay North America
The ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas Ford E-350 cutaway is estimated to provide significant emissions reductions for two of the six criteria pollutants regulated under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. When compared to the emissions baseline of typical gasoline vehicles, significant improvements in engine-out emissions are anticipated for both NOx (50% reduction) and particulate matter (25%).
These conservative reduction estimates are based upon recently-completed emissions testing at ROUSH CleanTech’s EPA-certified testing facility on similar Ford E-series vans that reported a 67% reduction in NOx and 50 percent reduction in particulate matter, with additional reductions in non-methane organic gases (25%).
Based upon an average annual mileage of 20,000 miles for vehicles in the delivery and service industries, and an average fuel economy of 10.5 miles per gallon for a comparable gasoline vehicle, each propane autogas Ford E-350 vehicle is expected to displace almost 1,667 gallons of gasoline per year. Annually, a fleet of 1,225 vehicles would displace 2 million gallons of gasoline each year and 20 million gallons over a 10-year lifetime.