• Feb 6th 2011 at 8:28AM
  • 6
Back in October, motorsport legend Jack Roush brought his trackside experience to the alternative fuel industry by establishing a venture called Roush CleanTech. The alternative fuel firm focuses solely on developing propane-fueled vehicles, like the LPG-fed Ford E-350, a cutaway van that the CleanTech group is currently developing for use by Frito-Lay. The propane-fed E-350 cutaway, which utilizes Ford's 5.4-liter V8 engine, is scheduled to enter production at some point during the first quarter of this year.

Roush CleanTech estimates that its converted Ford E-350 cutaway will reduce engine-out emissions of NOx by 50 percent and particulate matter by 25 percent, compared to its gasoline counterpart. In addition, Roush claims that each LPG-fed E-350 could displace the need for nearly 1,667 gallons of gasoline per year, based upon an annual average of 20,000 miles for vehicles in the delivery industry. Though Roush CleanTech is developing the propane-fueled E-350 at the specific request of Frito-Lay, other companies will have a chance to add this emissions-reducing vehicle to their fleets at a later date.

[Source: Roush CleanTech]
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ROUSH CleanTech Develops Liquid Propane Autogas Cutaway for Frito-Lay

Snack food leader notes propane autogas-powered delivery trucks are key to environmental stewardship.

E-350 propane autogas fueled van

ROUSH CleanTech has begun development of a liquid propane autogas fuel system for the Ford E-350 dual rear wheel (DRW) cutaway chassis. While this vehicle is used extensively by Frito-Lay, the first customer for the fuel system conversion, other fleets will also be able to utilize this technology to make the switch to propane autogas.

"Based on the proposed project, this appears to be a viable solution to improve our cost per mile, as well as reduce our environmental footprint," said Joe Gold, fleet asset and engineering manager at Frito-Lay North America. "If technically successful, and if the conversion economics continue to be favorable, there is potential within the Frito-Lay fleet to convert up to 2,000 gasoline-powered vehicles to propane autogas across the U.S. within the next several years."

A particular environmental concern is reducing the emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx), and the propane autogas-powered vehicle delivers. The ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas Ford E-350 cutaway is estimated to provide significant emissions reductions for two of the six criteria pollutants regulated under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. When compared to the emissions baseline of typical gasoline vehicles, significant improvements in engine-out emissions are anticipated for both NOx (50 percent reduction) and particulate matter (25 percent). These conservative reduction estimates are based upon recently-completed emissions testing at ROUSH CleanTech's EPA-certified testing facility on similar Ford E-series vans that reported a 67 percent reduction in NOx and 50 percent reduction in particulate matter, with additional reductions in non-methane organic gases (25 percent).

Besides contributing to cleaner air, this ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas Ford E-350 cutaway will help reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil. Based upon an average annual mileage of 20,000 miles for vehicles in the delivery and service industries, and an average fuel economy of 10.5 miles per gallon for a comparable gasoline vehicle, each propane autogas Ford E-350 vehicle is expected to displace almost 1,667 gallons of gasoline per year. Annually, a fleet of 1,225 vehicles would displace 2 million gallons of gasoline each year and 20 million gallons over a 10-year lifetime.

"We are extremely pleased that Frito-Lay has seen the potential of the ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel systems. Our engineering team is already hard at work developing this E-350 cutaway," said Joe Thompson, president of ROUSH CleanTech.

The E-350 DRW cutaway will be based on the Ford 5.4 liter, 2-valve V-8 engine and planned for first quarter 2011 production. For more information, please visit ROUSHcleantech.com.

About the company: Based in Plymouth Township, Mich., ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures, assembles, and installs dedicated liquid propane autogas fuel systems for a variety of light- and medium- duty Ford vehicles, including the F-150, F-250, and F-350 truck series, and the E-150, E-250, E-350, and E-450 cutaway van series. Currently offered through authorized Ford dealerships around the country, the ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system delivers the same factory Ford performance characteristics, warranty coverage, and serviceability. Customers can reduce operating costs significantly while reducing vehicle emissions. Complete details on ROUSH CleanTech fuel system offerings can be found online at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800-59-ROUSH.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm a little confused by this. By LPG, do they mean propane or liquified natural gas? Liquified natural gas would be a winner because it doesn't come from oil or tar.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Roush Cleantech is like BP Decency. somewhat of a stretch.
      is fossil fuel burning in large crude vehicles clean tech... I think not

      Roush is the antithesis to green. for the ignorant, by the ignorant, of the ignorant.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I, too have problems with this but from an entirely different perspective. Propane is a distillate of crude oil and 100% of it produced in the US is now being utilized. There is a limited supply and we for years have been importing propane from Canada to meet domestic demand. The retail price, at least in this area, is equivalent to gasoline or diesel, but as a fuel, propane is inferior. It just doesn't contain as much energy. There will undoubtedly be a cost premium for providing the conversion apparatus, plus the increased demand has to go hand in hand with increased fuel cost. Without government subsidy it doesn't make good business sense. I must be missing something here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        LPG can also be produced from 'wet' natural gas, but I agree it doesn't sound too much like a good idea.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great feedback from the readers... however there are a few facts that should be set straight:

      - 45% of today's propane comes from petroleum refining, 55% comes from natural gas refining

      - 90% of the propane used in the U.S. comes from domestic production, another 7% from Canadian production

      - The price of automotive propane (autogas) has historically been 30 - 40% less expensive on a per-gallon basis than gasoline

      - 40% of the propane used in the U.S. today is practically given away to the petrochemical industry... studies have shown that automotive demand for propane autogas would have to increase by 4 billion gallons per year to make an impact on the price per gallon at the pump

      - Yes, there is a premium for the conversion cost, but there is also a Federal tax credit that offsets $.50 for every gallon of fuel you pump. A Ford E-series van equipped with the ROUSH CleanTech system can see a positive return on investment in as little as 12 - 18 months of regular operating use.

      - LPG = liquified petroleum gas, propane... LNG is liquified natural gas, a completely different fuel type.

      There are a large number of alternative fuel solutions out there today, and there is no "silver bullet" that will reduce our dependency on foreign oil and limit our environmental impact. What the ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system offers is the same factory performance with significantly reduced emissions and operating costs, a perfect combination for fleets looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
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