Diesel's days may or may not be numbered but don't count the internal combustion engine out just yet. A number of companies are working to develop clean ICE engines fueled by a variety of alternative fuels.
By removing and replacing approximately 10% to 15% of components from a conventional diesel ICE, flexible fuel engine developer ClearFlame Engine Technologies has developed an engine capable of running on ethanol, methanol and other cleaner burning natural fuels as opposed to fossil fuels, reducing emissions without sacrificing performance and at a fraction of the cost of wholly new alternative powertrain.
Vander Haag's, a heavy duty truck service and repair provider and truck and trailer retailer, in 2022 announced a partnership with ClearFlame to begin installing heavy-duty truck engines that have been converted with ClearFlame’s technology to operate on clean, low-cost E98 ethanol fuel instead of diesel. Vander Haag on Thursday also became a ClearFlame customer, purchasing the company's first FuelAdaptive truck.
Vander Haag's will use the ClearFlame truck to deliver parts to its 11 locations in multiple states.
"Vander Haag's has been an enthusiastic development partner for ClearFlame because of their market readiness, cost savings and use of existing infrastructure," said Vander Haag's CEO John Vander Haag. "Many of our customers don't have the capital, infrastructure, or light duty cycles needed for EV adoption, and we see a massive opportunity to increase our market share by bringing customers the sustainability they desire without increasing costs."
An independent study of the technology revealed ClearFlame-equipped vehicles are estimated to provide a 42% lifecycle carbon reduction compared with diesel, as well as approximately 22% lower GHG than battery electric vehicles based on the national average grid mix. The study also reported ClearFlame’s cost per mile is expected to be 40% lower than electric and 30 percent less than hydrogen.
ClearFlame expects to announce additional sales in the first half of 2024. The company is finalizing lease agreements for limited production trucks, targeting 2-3 dozen units with select customers.