Myrtle Beach-based Alkane Truck Company Inc. has completed compliance to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) standards and regulations. Alkane will begin assembly operations in early 2016 for its Class 7 Cab-Over truck as the sole source for a cab-over truck powered with LPG or CNG in the 26,000 and 33,000 GVW weight classes in North America. “We are excited about our new truck,” says Alkane CEO Bob Smith. “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.”
Alkane Truck Company has chosen an innovative approach to bring its trucks to market at a price that’s competitive to gasoline or diesel trucks. All the truck components are outsourced to qualified existing American manufacturers and assembled per order in its Summerville, SC facility. The Alkane distribution program utilizes established fleet operators and heavy-duty truck dealerships to sell and service the trucks. Over 130 dealership locations across North America have signed an MOU for the program and Alkane plans to add an additional 200 dealerships.
The current fleet volume discounted price of an equivalent gallon of liquid propane is $1.15 cents compared to $2.49 or more for diesel fuel. The powertrain in the Alkane Class 7 Cab-Over truck delivers the same torque at 1,500 RPMs as comparable diesel engines at a fraction of the cost of operation. Class 7 trucks are widely utilized for inter-city operations due to their tight turning radius and maneuverability. They are used for various applications such as box, propane, beverage and other delivery truck applications.
State governments have created tax incentive and rebate programs to promote the purchase and use
of alternative fueled vehicles including LPG and CNG. The Federal government has also introduced incentive programs for alternative fueled vehicles and is expected to pass new legislation in the near future.
The Alkane Class 7 Cab-Over truck comes equipped with a Power Solutions International (PSI) 8.8 Liter big block engine with a durability-tested Bi-Phase Technologies Liquid Propane Autogas or Compressed Natural Gas fuel system and is complemented by the Allison 2500 Series heavy-duty automatic transmission. Due to less carbon build-up and friction, natural gas powered engines generally surpass the life cycle of their gasoline and diesel counterparts.
Alkane Truck Company has additional automotive products in its development pipeline including a Class 8 CNG or LNG long haul truck and a LPG powered heavy-duty Humvee type vehicle. “When one considers the tax advantages to owning a vehicle that runs on LPG or CNG, then add the reduced cost of operation, these vehicles make perfect economic sense." explains Steve Rayborn, the company’s spokesperson and Vice President of Global Sales. “We’re accomplishing several things here. We’re lowering our dependence on foreign oil and we’re putting environmentally cleaner trucks on the road, we’re saving fleet operators badly needed cash by reducing overall operating cost, and we’re creating jobs in America. Yes, we’re very excited!”