Automaker explores alternate fuel solutions for commercial vehicles
18 September 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201916340
ISUZU Motors South Africa is evaluating trucks which use alternate propulsion technologies that may be suitable for the African market.
According to Executive for Technical Services Dominic Rimmer, this is part of the company’s drive to offer unique solutions to their customers and offer added value for large fleet owners who demand low running costs and reliability while minimising the impact on the environment.
“Our mission is to provide transport solutions to our customers, low-emission vehicles using alternate energy sources would be a great addition to our product portfolio. These trucks are not only a vital step toward reducing the emission of harmful pollutants, they will also contribute to the more effective utilisation of limited natural resources for transportation,” Rimmer said.
Isuzu is currently looking at two types of alternate propulsion technologies for its trucks: a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueltruck, and a dual fuel powered truck converted to run on natural gas and diesel.
“We’ve built a handful of prototype trucks which are currently being tested in real world conditions on South African roads by a number of Isuzu fleet customers. If the testing is successful we could see more of these trucks paving the way for a greener motoring landscape in future,” said Rimmer.
Isuzu N-Series (NPR300) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicle
With the proven N-Series range of trucks as a platform, the NPR300 uses CNG as well as a Stop – Start fuel saving system to create a more environmentally friendly truck while reducing operating costs.
“CNG is available from the significant reserves of natural gas that exist in many places around the world.”
Rimmer added that the CNG-powered engines emit very low levels of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and hydrocarbon (HC) with virtually no particulate matter (PM) emitted at all.
“Another characteristic of natural gas, whose main constituent gas is methane, is that it produces very little Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Isuzu produces three-way catalytic converter equipped CNG vehicles that achieve an excellent low-pollution emission performance.”
Based on the popular Isuzu FTR 850 AMT model, the 850 Diesel Dual Fuel model is a locally developed dual fuel truck which uses Diesel Dual Fuel technology utilising a D-gid ECU system with the ability to run the engine on a mixture of diesel and natural gas.
The Diesel Dual Fuel d-gid system fuelled diesel engines with a mixture of diesel fuel and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The D-gid control unit determines the optimum mixture of diesel and air/gas required under different loads, dynamically modifying it in real time according to the feedback provided by the engine.
“These initiatives are in line with Isuzu’s SEE (Safety, Economy & Environment) philosophy of continuously searching for efficient transport solutions which will reduce impact on the environment and enable our customers to support the locally planned Green Transport strategy,” said Rimmer.