Pacific Gas & Electric adds liquid natural gas trucks to its service fleet

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it has added five Class 8 heavy-duty liquid natural gas (LNG) trucks to its alternative fuel fleet. PG&E is the first utility in the nation to put the Kenworth T800 LNG-powered trucks into service.

The effort is part of the company’s commitment to reduce its environmental footprint and improve California’s air quality.

PG&E purchased the Class 8 heavy-duty trucks from Bay Area Kenworth as diesel units and collaborated on the upgrade to liquid natural gas operation with Kenworth and Westport Innovations, Inc.

The fuel system developed and manufactured by Westport and called High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI), uses a small amount of diesel to ignite the natural gas in the engine and provides diesel-equivalent torque, horsepower and a range of 400-450 miles. The result is reduced NOx, particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions and less reliance on diesel fuel by running the cleaner LNG fuel.

The LNG-powered trucks are based at PG&E’s Fremont service warehouse from where all the utility’s supplies are shipped and are being put into service for routes to Fresno, Marysville, Ukiah and Templeton. Four of the Class 8 LNG trucks will be used for two shifts per day, representing approximately 800 miles per day per truck. Using LNG will cut the fuel costs for these trucks by approximately 50 percent. The fifth LNG truck serves as a customer demonstration truck to educate PG&E’s large trucking customers about the economic and environmental benefits of LNG-powered heavy-duty trucks.

PG&E operates 36 natural gas fueling stations throughout northern and central California, 27 of which are open to the public.

The new LNG-powered trucks fuel up at PG&E’s Fremont Service Center from an above-ground LNG fueling system.