Despite some design challenges along the way, Toyota Transport, the automaker’s in-house vehicle transportation trucking company, now has its first car hauler that runs on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
The truck, based in Long Beach, Calif., emits 85 percent less overall particulate matter and 10 percent less carbon dioxide than a conventional diesel hauler, the company says.
The CNG truck was commissioned by Toyota and designed and built in a joint collaboration with Peterbilt and Cottrell, Inc.
“We started exploring the CNG option more than three years ago, and it has been worth the wait,” says Kirk Welch, senior analyst, Toyota transport compliance. “Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and will help Toyota advance our environmental efforts to reduce fleet emissions.”
Initially, the placement of alternate fuel tanks presented a challenge for car haulers utilizing a 9-car trailer with an over-the-cab head rack, according to a Toyota press release.
However, working with Toyota’s specifications, Peterbilt and Cottrell were able to develop a tractor/trailer combination that accommodated the alternate fuel tanks, without compromising the extra vehicle hauling space of the head rack.
The achievement marks the first full car hauler trailer with head rack that Cottrell has manufactured onto a CNG truck.
Peterbilt and Cottrell also helped build 30 CNG car haulers that are being used to transport Honda vehicles from its Lincoln, Alabama factory. However, Toyota’s CNG car hauler hit the road in November, making it the first company to utilize the alternative fuel for that purpose.