Green energy. Energy independence. Energy efficiency. Whatever the buzz word used, talking about energy is all the rage now. Most of the ideas won’t materialize for many years but others are already working to make better use of existing resources for future generations. Case in point, the Peterbilt 386 LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). This model of 386 is the first class 8 truck to receive SmartWay recognition by the EPA. Through the use of LNG and the Westport GX engine the Peterbilt 386 sees greater miles per gallon and produces 25% less greenhouse gases than a comparable diesel engine. In the official press release from Peterbilt it is also mentioned that LNG users enjoy a lower price per gallon compared to diesel. Pair that with the fact that the U.S. has large stores of natural gas and it would seems the magic bullet has been found. Oh, LNG powered engines display no loss of power or low end torque. Clearly, we are witnessing the great achievement in modern time. Directly from Peterbilt..
The alternative fueled vehicle is powered by the EPA-certified Westport GX engine, offering up to 475 horsepower and 1,750 lb-ft of torque. The 15-liter engine uses high pressure direct injection technology (HPDI), specialized cryogenic fuel tanks, and associated electronic components to facilitate robust performance and reliable operation. This technology uses a low cost, cleaner-burning fuel than diesel without compromising engine torque, power, fuel economy, or drivability, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent.
I love the part about cryogenic fuel tanks, very cutting edge. Alright, time to get serious. When you’re on a cross trip where do you stop to fill up of these trucks? I am not aware of any many truck stops that have LNG fuel stations. In fact, natural gas powered vehicles have been around for many a year but have suffered from lack of filling options. Until this changes it will remain a 2nd tier option in the way we power our vehicles.