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July 8, 2009 10:30 AM, EDT

Freightliner Unveils Natural Gas Truck

Freightliner Trucks has introduced its first natural gas-powered truck, the Freightliner Business Class M2 112 NG, the company said.

The Class 8 model is ideal for short and medium hauls including port operations, natural gas utilities, and municipalities. The truck is powered by the Cummins Westport ISL G, an 8.9-liter stoichiometric cooled-exhaust gas recirculation engine,

Natural gas technology can save an estimated $6,000 in annual fuel and operating costs per truck, Freightliner said, and customers in states such as California can benefit from tax incentives for alternative-fuel vehicles.

Fuel providers can take advantage of such incentives too, increasing accessibility to natural gas as a transportation fuel, said Freightliner, which is part of Daimler Trucks North America.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. last week opened the world’s largest natural gas truck fueling station, on a site adjacent to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif.