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Mack expanding natural-gas power to Pinnacle and Granite models

OEM also working on hybrid-drive, high-pressure direct injection, and DME-fuel technologies

Mack Trucks today announced the expansion of its natural gas-powered truck offerings to on-highway and vocational models. The OEM also said that it has “taken a key step forward” in its hybrid-vehicle development process and that it is continuing to investigate other alternative driveline technologies.  

The OEM said it will offer natural gas-powered versions of its on-highway Pinnacle and vocational Granite models in 2013. Both models will be powered by the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine. Mack noted that customer testing of those trucks is slated to begin this year.  The truck maker already offers natural gas-powered TerraPro low-entry and TerraPro cabover refuse-truck models.

Like the TerraPro natural-gas models, the natural gas-powered Pinnacle and Granite trucks will have a maintenance-free aftertreatment system and require only a three-way catalyst to meet EPA 2010 and CARB emissions standards, which Mack stated sets “a new benchmark for lower alternative fuel vehicle lifecycle costs and improving customers’ return on investment.”

The OEM also pointed out that its natural gas-powered trucks are available with either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel systems.

“Mack has a long history in alternative driveline technologies, and in particular, natural gas,” said Kevin Flaherty, president, Mack Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. “We’ve offered natural gas since it became clear that it was a viable energy solution in the refuse segment. Now customers within the regional haul, LTL and construction segments will have the benefits of natural gas combined with the power and performance they expect from Mack.”

The next step in Mack’s development of diesel-electric hybrid technology is the recent delivery of TerraPro low-entry hybrid test units to the New York City Dept. of Sanitation for evaluation.

“We look forward to putting these new vehicles with the latest version of Mack’s diesel-electric hybrid technology to the test,” said Rocco DiRico, Deputy Commissioner of Support Services for the NYC Dept. of Sanitation. “We fully expect that they’ll deliver on the Mack promise of durability, reliability and superior performance as we continue to deliver on our own promise of a clean city with clean air,” he added.  

 Mack noted that diesel-electric hybrid technology provides up to a 30% fuel-economy improvement in stop-and-go applications, such as refuse, with a corresponding greenhouse gas emissions benefit.

The OEM said the other alternative driveline technologies it is investigating include high- pressure direct injection, which uses a combination of natural gas and a small amount of diesel in the combustion process, and the alternative fuel DME (dimethyl ether), which can be produced from natural gas.

 “We listen to what our customers want and develop the technologies best suited for their needs,” Flaherty noted. “Mack’s alternative driveline technologies represent an ongoing evolution built upon our proven experience.”

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