A 400-hp. rating of the new ISX12 G natural gas engine has been approved and will begin shipping to truck makers in August, according to Jim Arthurs, president of Cummins Westport. Considered the first true heavy-duty natural gas truck engine, the ISX12 G was initially introduced with a 350-hp. rating just last April and is currently offered in heavy-duty models from all of the major truck OEMs.
No longer an emerging technology, NG trucks are now a rapidly growing market, according to Andy Douglas, national sales manager for Kenworth Trucks. “Natural gas will account for 4 to 5% of the heavy truck build in 2013,” he predicted, reaching 11,000 to 12,000 units. “The [ISX12 G] is a huge part of that growth.”Large orders from leasing companies for NG trucks with the new 12L could be causing “a spurt in growth” that may fall off a bit as fleets try out the leased trucks before committing to large scale purchases, according to Nadine, Hauptmann, Navistar director of alternative fuels and product marketing. Citing a just released study from Citi Group, she said their forecast has NG trucks capturing 25% of the heavy-duty market by 2020.
“That’s the kind of steady ramp up we want,” added Bill Kahn, manager of advanced concepts for Peterbilt Motors. The ISX12 G will account for almost 30% of the 2,000 NG trucks the company expects to sell this year, he said.