Sterling introduces first natural gas-powered vehicle

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Sterling Truck Corp. on May 12 rolled out a new natural gas-fueled tractor. The Sterling Set-Back 113 fueled with Natural Gas is suited for port operations, as well as natural gas utilities and municipalities. An OEM factory-built product, this truck is powered by the Cummins Westport ISL G.

Natural gas technology can save an estimated $6,000 in annual fuel and operating costs per truck, according to Sterling, and customers in states such as California also will benefit from tax incentives for alternative fuel vehicles. Fuel providers take advantage of these incentives, too, which means that accessibility to NG fuel is on the rise.

“Due to deterioration in air quality, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have embraced the use of alternative fuels in commercial vehicles,” says Richard Shearing, manager of product strategy for Redford, Mich.-based Sterling Truck Corp. “At the same time, utility companies and municipalities throughout North America have shown increased interest in green transportation technology. By introducing the Set-Back 113 with Natural Gas, we’re giving our customers a hard-working truck that reduces both costs and environmental emissions.”

The Cummins Westport ISL G, an 8.9-liter stoichiometric cooled-exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) engine, offers low emissions without sacrificing top-level performance and efficiency, Sterling says; available in ratings up to 320 hp, the ISL G meets Environmental Protection Agency 2010 standards with 85 percent lower NOx emissions than the C Gas Plus engine and features the highest power-to-weight ratio in class with an optimized turbocharger. The ISL G also features a maintenance-free exhaust system with a three-way catalyst, according to the company; no further technology or aftertreatment will be required to meet 2010 emissions standards.

Sterling says the durable, reliable Set-Back 113 features a roomy and comfortable cab, as well as superb visibility, maneuverability, ride and handling.