Landi Renzo USA, American subsidiary of Landi Renzo Group, announced an award of $600,000. This award includes funding of $300,000 from the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (South Coast AQMD) Clean Fuel Funds and another $300,000 in funding from the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) for Landi Renzo’s 7.3L Near Zero natural gas engine development program, which covers medium-duty Class 4-7 vehicles.
This collaboration will modify the recently introduced Ford 7.3L gasoline engine and demonstrate a 0.02 g/bhp-hr NOx California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified engine for commercial vehicle applications. The project is well underway with expected completion by the second quarter of 2020.
The Ford base engine will offer fleets a Near Zero Natural Gas engine for the F-450, F-550, F-650, F-750, F-53, F-59, and E-450 applications.
This Near Zero Natural Gas engine is packaged for shuttle buses (e.g., hotel, airport, rental car) box trucks, tow trucks, service body trucks, large package trucks, and a host of other vocational offerings. Many of these vehicles will be able to take advantage of various grant funding opportunities.
“We are excited that Landi Renzo USA is driving clean technology for the automotive sector. They’ve done this on a global scale and now are bringing their advanced technology to the U.S. market,” said Michael Lee, project manager, research and development at SoCalGas.
To date, the biggest gap in the Near Zero Natural Gas offering was the work truck market. In addition to operating on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), this engine will also be able to utilize Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). RNG fuel is organic-based and is carbon net-negative when used by natural gas trucks. RNG provides a 70% reduction in greenhouse gases versus gasoline or diesel.
Andrea Landi, president of Landi Renzo USA, stated, “While we have deployed thousands of clean natural gas vehicles over the past 10 years, this collaboration will drive customers to the next generation of Near Zero Natural Gas vehicles. We are excited about this opportunity. Unlike some technologies that take years to develop, our Near Zero engine is available for order now.”
The Near Zero Natural Gas vehicles come directly from the Ford manufacturing plant to Landi Renzo USA’s facility in Torrance or an Authorized Distributor, where they are converted with the Landi Renzo’s Eco Ready CNG system.
Landi Renzo USA is the only approved Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) developer and installer for CARB, the agency responsible for implementing California's landmark climate legislation. As an OEM approved system under Ford’s QVM program, the original warranty remains fully in place.