(ACT Expo photo)
Workhorse Group's W-15 electric pickup truck being unveiled at ACT Expo.

ACT Expo notebook: Study touts RNG, Workhorse unveils electric pickup

May 9, 2017
Recently completed annual event featured many product and company updates.

LONG BEACH, CA. A study released during the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo found that deploying trucks fueled by renewable natural gas (RNG) could create up to 130,000 new jobs and add $14 billion to California’s economy.

The study from the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas and the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition said a shift to renewable natural gas trucks would help California achieve its air quality goals by moving away from diesel, which still fuels about 95% of the trucks on the state’s highways.

Renewable natural gas, commonly known as RNG or biomethane, is produced from methane captured as organic materials decompose in renewable waste streams such as dairies, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. Through capturing and converting methane for use as a substitute or blended fuel, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by as much as 70%, the study said.

“This study affirms what we have been advocating – increased production, deployment and utilization of RNG not only realizes significant benefits for our environment, but for our economy as well,” said Johannes Escudero, CEO of the RNG Coalition.

Elsewhere around the Expo

Workhorse Group Inc. unveiled a working concept truck of the W-15 electric pickup truck with range extender for fleet usage. The Workhorse W-15 light-duty is an extension of the E-Gen electric technology used in Workhorse medium-duty delivery trucks.

It has an 80-mile battery range with an on-board gasoline generator that will operate after battery power has been depleted. Production of the vehicle is projected to begin next year.

US Hybrid unveiled a zero-emission Class 8 fuel cell drayage truck featuring its PEM fuel cell engine. It will be operated by Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI), and is one of two demonstration tractors scheduled for delivery at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Navistar International ProStar day cab features US Hybrid’s FCe80, 80 kW PEM fuel cell engine and a 500 hp traction motor with 2,900 foot pounds of direct drive torque. It has an estimated driving range of 200 miles, and can be refueled in less than nine minutes.

“TTSI is excited to lead the demonstration of zero-emission fuel cell technology for port drayage in the San Pedro Ports,” said Vic LaRosa, president and CEO of TTSI.

US Hybrid also announced a joint venture with China-based Jiangsu Dewei Advanced Materials to speed the development of fuel cells.

Agility Fuel Solutions announced the creation of a new Powertrain Systems division to enhance its focus on the development and integration of low-press propane fuel systems.

Agility CEO Kathleen Ligocki said that Brad Garner has been selected as president of the new business unit. The company is already involved in natural gas high pressure fuel systems. The company’s headquarters is in Costa Mesa, CA.

Lightning Hybrids announced its name change to Lightning Systems at ACT Expo.

announced a name change to Lightning Systems, and outlined a two-year plan to introduce a new lineup of efficiency products. It also said it is moving its headquarters to the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology in Loveland, CO. It is nearly double the size of its current facility.

Among the planned products is LightningAnalytics, a cloud-based data center, and LightningHybrid, an energy recovery system that offers 50 percent NOx reductions and up to 25 percent fuel savings in urban drive cycles.

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

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