Work Truck Show 2013
Natural Gas Trucks Set for Record Year
This will be the best-ever year for sales of natural gas trucks if early performance at Freightliner
and Ford is sustained over the coming months.
Executives from the two companies pointed to booming sales while speaking at the Green Truck Summit here yesterday.
Freightliner, which delivered 2,000 natural gas trucks over the last four years, sold 722 last year. It has 540 on backlog this year “and we’re only just into March,” said Freightliner Trucks natural gas vocational sales manager Bob Carrick. Freightliner is at Booth 4659.
Ford has sold 7,000 alternative-fueled commercial trucks thus far this year compared to 11,000 for all of last year, according to chief engineer Rob Stevens. Ford now has 27,000 converted trucks in
service. Ford offers 26 alternative fuel models, ranging from the all-electric Ford Focus to the compressed natural gas CNG F-650 and F-750 commercial trucks. Ford is at Booth 3139.
Peterbilt (Booth 1825) engineering manager Frank Schneck didn’t disclose this year’s performance but said his company sold 1,400 natural gas trucks last year. Of that total, 600 were refuse trucks, and 400 of the tally were fitted with the 15-liter, Cummins ISX-based engine Westport HD by Westport Innovations (Booth 5199).
The number of natural gas vehicles on the road will expand rapidly over the next few years, according to Doyle Sumrall, senior director of business development at the National Truck Equipment Association. A philosophy of change is overtaking the industry as operators see benefits flowing to the bottom line, and as more fueling stations make natural gas more practical, he said.
Sumrall cited Ohio as an example, where in 2008, Akron Metro RTA, the City of Columbus and SWACO opened three stations to fuel their 50 or so CNG vehicles with 45,000 gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE) that year.
Two years later there were four public and five private stations in Ohio supporting 82 CNG vehicles, and that leapt in 2012 to 30 stations and 628 CNG vehicles, which used 1.5 million GGE. Coming soon: another 10 stations and 200 more CNG vehicles, which are expected to use another 350,000 GGE.
“Nationwide, the infrastructure is building,” Sumrall said.