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<Kenworth Truck Company Grant For the Deployment of a Next Generation Alternative Fuel Power Truck Project

For heavy-duty class 8 trucks, the Kenworth Truck Company will demonstrate a hybrid-electric drive system that uses a natural-gas-powered micro-turbine. The goal of the project is to make cost and efficiency improvements to the hybrid system and its batteries. The system will use an intercooled recuperated (ICR) 350 kilowatt microturbine that will be run on natural gas because of the fuel’s low emissions and low cost.

FedEx will take delivery of the demonstration truck and integrate the vehicle into its on-going operations starting in 2012. The test vehicle will be equipped with data-logging equipment to record information on the vehicle’s operation for analysis.

The system will initially be designed for class 8 trucks, but can be readily scaled to fit all class 6, 7, and 8 vehicles over a wide range of operations. Kenworth projects that this technology will be commercially viable in 2013.

Grant Amount


Match Funding

$1,603,325 from the project’s participants.

Project Participants

Kenworth Truck Company, a leading manufacturer of heavy and medium duty trucks, will serve as the technical lead and developer for this project.

Capstone Turbine Corporation, headquartered in Chatsworth, California, will provide the microturbine and demonstration support.

Brayton Energy LLC, an engine research and development firm, will provide technical support.

Arvin Meritor, a truck drive train component supplier, will provide the class 8 Dual Mode Hybrid Drive system.

Southern California Gas Company will provide technical and marketing oversight, and fuel management support.

Clean Energy, the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in the US, will coordinate fuel delivery for this project.

Global shipper FedEx Corporation will conduct the field test for this project.

CalStart, a non-profit organization focused on the growth of clean transportation, will provide program management for this project and will coordinate all activities of the project team.

Project Benefits

This project can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 46 tons and diesel fuel by 13,800 gallons per truck per year. At full commercialization, this project can create over 6,000 high tech and green tech jobs on a sustainable basis in California by 2025 to 2030. Six hundred California jobs per thousand units are projected just for the microturbine manufacturing and assembly.

Grant Agreement Number: ARV-09-012
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