Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has added five Class 8 heavy-duty liquid natural gas (LNG) trucks to its alternative fuel fleet. PG&E said it is the first utility in the nation to put the Kenworth T800 LNG-powered trucks into service.
The effort is part of the company's commitment to reduce its environmental footprint and improve California's air quality.
"Natural gas is one of the cleanest alternative fuels available today," said David Meisel, director of transportation services at PG&E. "The Kenworth LNG-powered trucks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 20 percent over equivalent diesel engines."
PG&E purchased the Class 8 heavy-duty trucks from Bay Area Kenworth as diesel units and collaborated on the upgrade to liquid natural gas operation with Kenworth and Westport Innovations Inc., which develops natural gas engines and fuel systems. The unique fuel system developed and manufactured by Westport and called High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI), uses a small amount of diesel to ignite the natural gas in the engine and provides diesel-equivalent torque, horsepower and a range of 400-450 miles.
The result is reduced NOx, Particulate Matter and greenhouse gas emissions and less reliance on diesel fuel by running the cleaner LNG fuel.