Boretti, A. and Grummisch, C., "100% LPG Long Haul Truck Conversion - Economy and Environmental Benefits," SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-1983, 2012, doi:10.4271/2012-01-1983.
Advanced Vehicle Technologies (AVT), a Ballarat Australia based company, has developed the World's first diesel to 100% LPG conversion for heavy haul trucks. There is no diesel required or utilized on the trucks. The engine is converted with minimal changes into a spark ignition engine with equivalent power and torque of the diesel. The patented technology is now deployed in 2 Mercedes Actros trucks. The power output in engine dynamometer testing exceeds that of the diesel (in excess of 370 kW power and 2700 Nm torque). In on-road application the power curve is matched to the diesel specifications to avoid potential downstream power-train stress. Testing at the Department of Transport Energy & Infrastructure, Regency Park, SA have shown the Euro 3 truck converted to LPG is between Euro 4 and Euro 5 NOx levels, CO2 levels 10% better than diesel on DT80 test and about even with diesel on CUEDC tests. The average fuel ratio of LPG tests versus diesel tests over 7 points from 80 kW to 180 kW is 1.67:1. The conversion is already operational in fleets. The conversion to LPG permits a better economy, a better environment and a better energy security. The truck conversion permits lower operating cost and significantly reduced fuel cost. The LPG has a lower fuel cost per unit energy. The savings are almost $300 per 1000 km. These fuel costs are based on an average wholesale price including rebates over the past 6 months of $0.51/L LPG and $1.46/L diesel. Longer maintenance intervals also permit lower cost and less downtime. The LPG has significant emissions reduction. The reduced carbon dioxide and particulate matter emissions are a result of the gaseous state and the better C/H ratio of the LPG. The CO2-e advantage of the LPG engine is greater than the tailpipe 10%. There is almost no particulate matter with LPG. The goal is to achieve Euro 5 (with the Euro 3 engine) in 1st half 2012 with no catalytic converter or urea filter. Finally, the LPG is locally produced and this reduces the dependence on the import of foreign oil. The current conversion kit is for a 3 pedal Euro 3 Actros, 26xx series. The company is working on a kit for the Euro 4 and 5 Actros engine, and also assessing other vendors' engines for conversion.