Increase in Heavy Duty Natural Gas Use from Refuse Industry

According to an outlook from ACT Research and Rhein Associates, there has been an increase in heavy duty natural gas use from the refuse industry, which has been adding new natural gas-powered trucks in significant volume.

The outlook is designed to present historical trends, current activity and forecasts of engine demand in on-highway commercial vehicles. It analyzes significant trends in engine displacement, engine type (diesel, gasoline, natural gas and other), captive versus non-captive engines, and premium versus non-premium power for Class 8 vehicles.

The refuse industry leads in converting vehicles to natural gas. Key players in the refuse market are intent on furthering a progressive, green image.

“They have established natural gas fueling stations, allowing for cost-effective overnight refueling and making refueling available to other natural gas users,” said Tom Rhein, president of Rhein Associates, a supplier of powertrain information. “They are also strongly focused on using renewable natural gas (RNG) to further reduce vehicle emissions by using landfill gas, a significant fuel savings.”

Waste Management operates more than 6,000 natural gas-powered trucks and 100 refueling stations across the U.S. Twenty-five of those stations offer public access.

ACT also said interest in electric vehicles continues to grow, with medium duty applications first to enter service. Workhorse has a commercial chassis for walk-in type vans, with firm orders being built in 2017 for package delivery companies.

“At the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group announced plans to develop an electric-powered, medium duty vehicle for launch in U.S. and Canada in 2019, using VW Group’s chargE concept,” Rhein said. “In November, Navistar announced an electric powertrain using the chargE concept for its IC school bus, also available in 2019.”

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