California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (South Coast AQMD) Clean Fuel Funds and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) have awarded a combined $600,000 ($300,000 each) to Landi Renzo USA for Landi Renzo’s 7.3L Near-Zero natural gas engine development program, which covers Class 4-7 vehicles.
Landi Renzo USA is the US subsidiary of Landi Renzo Group.
This collaboration will modify the recently introduced Ford 7.3-liter 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 Q2 2020.
The new Ford 7.3-liter V8, introduced first for the Super Duty F-250 and F-350 pickup models in August 2019, features an overhead valve architecture that generates power low in the rev range to help get heavier loads moving sooner and with greater confidence. It also features a variable-displacement oil pump, extra-large main bearings, forged steel crankshaft for durability, and piston cooling jets to help manage temperatures under heavy load.
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.
To date, the biggest gap in the Near-Zero Natural Gas offering has been 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.
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 QVM (Qualified Vehicle Modifier) developer and installer for CARB. As an OEM-approved system under Ford’s QVM program, the original warranty remains fully in place.