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Medium-Duty NatGas Engine Unveiled by Cummins Westport

Natural gas vehicle (NGV) engine-maker Cummins Westport plans to begin in mid-2016 making a 6.7-liter dedicated NGV engine for medium-duty trucks, shuttle buses and vocational vehicles. It unveiled its ISB6.7 G engine at the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Dallas.

The natural gas engine is based on Cummins ISB6.7 diesel fuel engine platform and will operate exclusively on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas. It is currently in field trials.

Cummins Westport's proprietary spark-ignited, stoichiometric combustion with cooled exhaust gas recirculation technology are incorporated into the new product. This is the same technology first used on the company's 8.9-liter ISL G engine.

The ISB6.7 G will have a range of ratings up to 260 hp and 660 pounds-feet of torque, with an automatic transmission capability that can be specified to customer and OEM requirements, the company said.

No diesel particulate filter or selective catalytic reduction after-treatment will be required, Cummins Westport said. It expects to have the engine certified to meet both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board standards at the time of it launch, along with meeting the 2016 U.S. greenhouse gas and fuel economy regulations.

Cummins Westport said the engine will be manufactured in its medium-duty engine plant in Rocky Mount, NC.

Also at the ACT Expo, Cummins Inc. and Agility Fuel Systems announced a partnership to drive NGVs as the choice in the heavy-duty truck and bus markets. Cummins, the distribution entity for spark-ignition NGV engines through its Cummins Westport joint venture, said it was making an undisclosed equity investment in Agility.

Cummins and Agility engineers are focused on heavy-duty NGVs to provide better fuel system-engine connections to improve vehicle performance. They are focused on the integration of the software and hardware linking the engine and the onboard fuel storage/delivery system with the hope it will "significantly improve performance and uptime."

Separately, United Parcel Service (UPS) and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. have inked a fuel supply contract for Clean Energy's Redeem renewable natural gas (RNG) brand of NGV fuel. It will be supplied to UPS at fueling stations in three California locations: Sacramento, Fresno and Los Angeles.

Clean Energy will supply both biomethane and RNG as part of its Redeem fuel used. UPS said the deal will make it the largest user of RNG in the U.S. shipping industry. The two companies estimate that the three California stations will provide 1.5 million gallon equivalents of RNG annually to fuel 400 UPS CNG vehicles.

The contract comes a month after UPS announced plans to deploy up to 1,400 CNG vehicles: Kenworth tractors and Freightliner Custom Chassis-Morgan Olson package cars. The use of landfill gas supplies in NGVs should be advanced considerably through this fueling contract, UPS said.

In another unveiling at ACT Expo, Rush Enterprises introduced its Momentum Fuel Technologies lightweight fueling system, including the use of 3M Type IV CNG fuel cylinders. The systems are designed for Class 6 through 8 vehicles, according to CEO Rusty Rush.

The Momentum fuel systems will be built in a new facility in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that Rush described as a multi-million-dollar, 109,000-square-foot factory with state-of-the-art machining equipment. The fueling assemblies are being designed for quick fills and operator ease.

Rush offers 120 service centers in 20 states, including 14 locations with dedicated NGV service bays. Eventually all of the centers will include the NGV bays, according to Rush. In addition, the company has 300 mobile service units.

Another CNG fueling system unveiled at ACT Expo comes from Oklahoma City-based Heartland CNG. It showcased its prototype package on a bifuel Ford F-550 truck with a 6.2-liter engine that was part of Landi Renzo USA's demonstration in Dallas. The truck was driven there from Oklahoma City.

Heartland said it teamed with Watertown, SD-based Dakota Bodies on the prototype package. It uses aluminum instead of steel, which company officials said reduces the amount of heat that is absorbed into CNG storage compartments, and this should result in better fueling at the CNG pump.

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