Roush E-350

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.