NW Natural, U.S. public utility servicing communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington, is expanding its free truck loan program by adding a powerful, high-mileage and low-emission Class 8 truck for long and heavy hauls. The company is adding this new generation of CNG and hybrid electric technology so fleet operators can experience the vehicle during a short-term, no-cost demo period, as both leasing and fuel costs will be covered.

Last fall, NW Natural offered its first Class 8 400 HP 12-liter natural gas truck available for loan. Now, the company is offering a natural gas/electric vehicle that adds up to an additional 120 HP. The hybrid system on this truck is provided by Hyllion Inc., a company dedicated to electrification solutions for heavy-duty vehicles. According to Hyllion, the system bolsters the already-existing advantages of natural gas by:

• Adding power to manage steep grades and heavy loads. The E-axle intelligently boosts power by up to 120 HP, improving the performance of a 400 HP CNG truck to maintain speed on hills and pull loads of 100,000 pounds or more.

• Improving fuel economy while benefitting from the low price of natural gas. The E-axle captures unneeded energy when the vehicle travels downhill or brakes, charging the Hyliion low-weight battery. The system requires no plug-in charging and adds only 800 pounds to the gross weight of the vehicle.

• Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero with renewable natural gas. By using biomethane, net GHG emissions can be reduced below zero. It is also eligible for clean and renewable fuel incentive programs, meaning even lower fuel costs.

“By combining electric technology with renewable natural gas, companies are saving money while meeting sustainability goals, even for the heavy loads we have in the Pacific Northwest,” said Chris Kroeker, NW Natural product manager of natural gas vehicles. “This truck really combines the best of both worlds and is a unique solution for long-haul fleets.”