Propane bobtail, school bus project pushed back

October 22, 2013 By    

Full production of the Freightliner S2G propane commercial chassis with an 8-liter engine, originally scheduled for early this year and later moved to September, has been delayed until January 2014, according to Tucker Perkins, chief business development officer for the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

A few lingering problems existed with prototype parts, including issues with the check-engine light and “nuisance oil leaks,” Perkins reported to the council during its meeting earlier this month in Portland, Ore.

“We want this product to come out right. We like it a lot; the engine is going to be a wonderful product for us,” Perkins says. “We feel very comfortable today that all of the nuisance problems have been solved.”

Trucks are currently being built, with 20 to 50 entering the marketplace, so project leaders can collect customer input and field data, Perkins says. Sales have been open.

The chassis would give the industry its first propane-powered bobtail built by an OEM truck manufacturer. The engine would also power Type C school buses from Thomas Built.

The project is a partnership between PERC, Freightliner Custom Chassis, Powertrain Integration and CleanFuel USA.

PERC approved $355,705 for a product launch support project, including a plan for 10 demonstration buses, at its July meeting. – Brian Richesson

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