CleanFuel, Freightliner partner on new propane engine

  • 24-Nov-2010 02:53 EST
2009 Vortec 8.1-L V8 Medium Duty.jpg

CleanFuel anticipates significant interest in the new 8-L propane engine due to pent-up demand stemming from GM stopping production of medium-duty engines in 2009. Shown is GM’s 2009 Vortec 8.1-L V8 Medium Duty with LRZ option for the Chevrolet Kodiak.

CleanFuel USA is partnering with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) to build and certify a multipurpose, 8-L General Motors propane engine. The medium-duty engine will feature CleanFuel’s new 8-L liquid propane injection (LPI) system. First versions of the engine chassis will be designed for use in urban delivery trucks and school buses, with FCCC certifying the propane fuel-injection system to run on the Thomas Built Buses Type C school bus and Freightliner straight truck chassis. CleanFuel expects the engine to be available for 2012 vehicles. A company spokesman said the plan is that there will be an application for off-highway use. The partnership expands use of GM’s 8-L long-block engine, originally intended for industrial and marine markets, to new on-highway applications of up to 33,000 lb GVW. Conversion kits also will be available to switch medium-duty gasoline vehicles to run on propane. The Propane Education and Research Council approved a $3.9 million grant to support the project’s development. CleanFuel, FCCC, GM, and Powertrain Integration will co-fund the project and release a generator version of the engine for the agriculture market. “Since the discontinuance of the GM 8.1-L engine, there have been limited options for medium-duty propane engines,” said Tucker Perkins, President and COO, CleanFuel USA. “From a fleet standpoint, we see immense potential for this new 8-L platform to stimulate additional interest and adoption in the market for propane-powered vehicles.”

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