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GATS News: Kenworth expands green efforts

DALLAS, Tex. -- Through a number of different initiatives, Kenworth is making advancements in its environmental eff...

Kenworth expanded its Clean Power Technology Tour to include 25 more stops.
Kenworth expanded its Clean Power Technology Tour to include 25 more stops.

DALLAS, Tex. — Through a number of different initiatives, Kenworth is making advancements in its environmental efforts, in both the heavy and medium-duty markets.

There is a groundswell of customer interest from an economic and environmental standpoint, said Bob Christensen, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice-president. We expect that interest to multiply as federal and state agencies become more aggressive in protecting the environment and reducing dependence on foreign oil. Alternative fuels and hybrid technology are here to stay. Kenworth is committed to design and build fuel-efficient trucks that help reduce emissions and decrease customer operating costs.

Kenworths dedication to fuel conservation dates back to 1985 when the company introduced its first truly aerodynamic truck, the T600A.

Today, Kenworths dedication to the green fleet extends to the EPA SmartWay program, Kenworth Clean Power no-idle system, Kenworth T800 liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks, medium-duty hybrid-electric vehicles, and PACCAR medium-duty engines.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently recognized Kenworths aerodynamic T660 and T2000 models as SmartWay program eligible trucks. In addition, the Kenworth T660 with 72-inch AeroCab sleeper is now available with Kenworth Clean Power, which may enhance fuel economy by as much as 8% for customers with current high idling times.

In response to positive customer reaction to its US road show which began last spring, the Kenworth Clean Power Technology Tour recently added 25 more stops to further promote fuel savings, productivity and environmental responsibility.

Kenworth also received the prestigious Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institutes 2007 Industry Innovation Award for alternative fuel trucks for the Kenworth T800 LNG truck. The award, which was shared with its Southern California dealer Inland Kenworth, Clean Energy and Westport Innovations, involves Kenworth T800s being placed into the port markets of Los Angeles and Long Beach, two of the nations busiest ports.

The Kenworth T800s are equipped with the Westport Innovations LNG fuel system that runs primarily on liquefied natural gas and is installed on the Cummins 15-liter engine. The result is reduced emissions and less reliance on diesel fuel by running the cleaner LNG fuel.

Kenworth recently began limited deliveries of its medium duty hybrid-electric truck, which will go into full production next year, as Seattle-based Dunn Lumber became Kenworths first hybrid customer.

Above 30 mph, the Kenworth hybrid operates like a standard diesel vehicle with all power coming from the engine during steady driving conditions. Below 30 mph, it uses a combination of diesel and electricity with the system automatically switching between the two modes of operation. Electricity generated through regenerative braking is stored and used for acceleration, assisting the diesel engine.

The future of hybrid technology is very promising, as Dunn Lumber has illustrated, said Christensen. As part of our commitment, Kenworth plans to have medium-duty hybrids available for the ride and drive session at the national Hybrid Truck Users Forum in Seattle next month in which PACCAR will serve as the forums local host.

Christensen noted that Kenworth Class 8 and medium-duty trucks began running the new emission-friendly engines early this year.

We were one of the first truck manufacturers to fully complete the transition to the new engines in the first quarter, said Christensen. Kenworths commitment to provide clean and fuel-efficient engines includes the PACCAR PX-6 and PX-8 medium-duty engines, and the construction of a new $400 million, PACCAR engine plant, which recently held a groundbreaking ceremony in Columbus, Mississippi.

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