Sector: LPG

Alkane LPG trucks approved by DOT

Alkane is serious about its COE LPG-powered Class 7 truck. A new assembly plant is under construction in South Carolina, USA, and now the vehicle has obtained compliance certification from the US Department of Transportation.
Alkane Class 7 autogas-powered truck© Alkane TrucksLPG-powered truck? DOT approves!

For the certification to be achieved, Alkane had to submit certain components to DOT's laboratories for testing, including brakes, wheels (with tires), axles, seat belts, lights, interior fabric samples and glass. All of these must meet certain state and federal standards and regulations, particularly those concerning safety. Interestingly, practically all of the mentioned parts and components are of Chinese origin – Alkane imports complete chassis cabs made by Foton (one of China's largest truck manufacturers) and equips them with US-made transmissions (Allison 2500 six-speed automatics) and autogas-powered engines (8,8-litre V8s by Power Solutions International, based on GM's blocks).

There’s a lab for every feature. If we knew five years ago what this was going to cost, we might have thought twice about it. But we’ve done it, and we’re glad we did it.

Steve Rayborn, Alkane’s sales vice president

The PSI engine offers 270 PS and 766 Nm of torque, thus providing diesel-like performance, but with the benefit of lower cost and lower environmental impact, especially in terms of particulate matter emissions, which are practically reduced to zero. As far as lower running cost goes, gallon of autogas (the fleet-volume discounted one, that is) is priced at $1,15, compared to $2,49 per gallon of diesel fuel, so potential savings are remarkable. The vehicle is addressed to LPG distributors and some of them have already shown interest in purchase.

We are excited about our new truck. We’re equally excited to bring new skilled jobs to American workers. Our assembly facility in Dorchester County (South Carolina) will employ more than 300 automotive technicians once it reaches full capacity.

Bob Smith, Alkane’s chief executive officer

Development is underway on a Class 8 truck and tractor, also using Foton-derived and produced cabs and chassis with US-made powertrain and other components. The engine for this larger Alkane model will be a Cummins ISX12 G set up to burn compressed natural gas. The vehicle should be production-ready sometime toward late 2016.


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Robert Markowski
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