LOUISVILLE -- American Power Group has partnered with Fitzgerald Glider Kits and the WheelTime Network to offer what it says is the nation’s first natural gas dual fuel glider.

The new natural gas glider makes its debut at APG’s booth at the Mid-America Truck Show in Louisville, Ky., last week and will be available beginning June 1.

A glider kit is basically a new truck delivered without an engine, transmission or accessory components and parts. Fitzgerald Glider works with Freightliner and offers a variety of new model year Columbia and Coronado cab options. Fitzgerald assembles gliders with rebuilt Detroit Series 60 12.7 liter engines from the WheelTime Network and remanufactured transmissions from Eaton Fuller.

By adding APG’s V5000 Turbocharged Natural Gas Dual-Fuel System to a Fitzgerald Glider, the truck owner can realize the benefits of today’s favorable price spread between diesel fuel and natural gas.

Typical net annual fuel savings when operating on APG’s patented dual fuel technology range from 20%-30% compared to standard diesel operation. APG will market and service the APG Dual Fuel Add-On Option through its recently announced national WheelTime Network Authorized Dealer Network of nearly 200 service centers, 2,800 service bays and 3,000 factory-trained technicians.

The APG system is a cost-effective and non-invasive patented turbocharged natural gas dual fuel conversion technology. The system displaces a large percent of diesel with either CNG or LNG, uses normal diesel oil, allows a vehicle to retain existing diesel maintenance cycles, and offers a 300-800 mile dual fuel range with no loss of power and torque, depending on the route profile and tank configuration, according to APG. No high-temperature parts or custom high-pressure fuel injectors are required.

Additionally, the APG system offers the flexibility to return a vehicle to 100% diesel operation at any time. At end-of-life or vehicular rotation, the APG system and natural gas tank can be easily removed and installed on another EPA approved engine.

“In addition to providing fleet owners the opportunity to convert and upgrade their existing diesel fleet to APG’s dual fuel technology, we now offer fleets a viable path to new natural gas vehicles," said Lyle Jensen, American Power Group president and CEO.

"We expect the 2013 Fitzgerald/APG Dual Fuel Glider to become one of most innovative and exciting new Class 8 vehicles on the road, with 20%-30% lower net fuel costs as compared to standard diesel engines and up to 70% lower annual maintenance costs," Jensen said.

"The introduction of a Dual Fuel Glider, coupled with the resources provided by a  Fitzgerald/WheelTime Network/APG collaboration, could be the game-changer that accelerates the transition of Class 8 truck fleets to natural gas as an alternative fuel.”