Freightliner debuts M2 112 NG, its first natural gas-powered truck

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Freightliner Trucks on Tuesday, July 7, introduced its first natural gas-powered truck, the Freightliner Business Class M2 112 NG, suited for port operations, natural gas utilities and municipalities. An OEM factory-built product, the truck is powered by the Cummins Westport ISL G.

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

“The M2 112 is a versatile and hard-working truck, and adding a natural gas option only enhances its efficiency,” says Melissa Clausen, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks, based in Portland, Ore. “As part of Daimler Trucks’ Shaping Future Transportation initiative, we will continue to provide reliable trucks with both economic and environmental benefits.”

The Cummins Westport ISL G, an 8.9-liter stoichiometric cooled-exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) engine, offers low emissions and is available in ratings up to 320 hp. Freightliner says the ISL G already meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 standards with 85 percent lower NOx emissions than the C Gas Plus engine, and features a high power-to-weight ratio with an optimized turbocharger, as well as a maintenance-free exhaust system with a three-way catalyst. No further technology or aftertreatment will be required to meet 2010 emissions, according to the company.

“Natural gas technology has come a long way,” Clausen says. “Buses have been using it for years, but the next-generation natural gas powertrains have more power because less air is needed for combustion. The technology simply burns cleaner.”

Freightliner says it also will offer a compressed natural gas (CNG) version of the M2 112 this year, followed by a CNG single-axle tractor, 4×2 and 6×2 truck, and vocational configurations.

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“This is a great opportunity for Cummins Westport to partner with Freightliner, one of North America’s leading truck manufacturers,” says Roe East, president of Cummins Westport. “By launching the Cummins Westport ISL G in the M2 112 tractor, Freightliner will be able to provide customers with clean, economical gas power for a wide range of applications. By the end of 2010, Freightliner will have a complete Cummins Westport-powered lineup with configuration options for more than 90 percent of truck applications in North America.”