ROUSH CleanTech has received approval from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for its propane autogas fuel system for retrofitting model-year 2010 5.4-liter Ford E-150, E-250 and E-350 cargo vans and wagons.
Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech, says this latest certification is the first that CARB has awarded in over 10 years for a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) retrofit system, as well as the first for any alternative fuel system for retrofit installations on model-year 2010 vehicles.
The certification process – from initial application to approval – took about 10 months, he tells NGT News. In that time, the company shared its data and retrofit strategy with CARB and accommodated the group's inquiries about the system.
CARB's approval opens the door immediately to autogas conversions on these models. In fact, a number of existing ROUSH CleanTech customers pushed for the certification, as these fleets had a heavy complement of 2010 E-Series vans on the road. Mouw expects the company to perform between 250 and 300 conversions over the next six months.
This development is certainly big for ROUSH CleanTech, as well as for fleet managers who are contemplating a shift to autogas but are reluctant to take on the expense of buying and converting a brand new chassis. Indeed, he says the E-Series is a ‘staple of the fleets,’ with thousands of shuttle, HVAC, delivery and other commercial operations already using the platform.
‘If they don't have to go out and purchase a new vehicle, that's huge for them,’ he remarks.
The company will now work toward retrofit certifications for model-year 2012, 2011 and 2009 E-Series vans and wagons, and E-450 cutaway vehicle platforms. Approval of the 2010 model year has ‘broken the seal,’ Mouw says, and he anticipates that certifications for the three other model years will be streamlined, now that the heavy lifting has been done.
ROUSH CleanTech also offers CARB-certified autogas systems for pre-title installation, such as for Ford F-250/350 trucks, E-series vans, and Blue Bird Vision and Micro Bird G5 school buses.