GENEVA, Ill. — ClearFlame Engine Technologies officials say the company has hit a number of key milestones through multiple partnerships with customers, manufacturers and fuel providers.
“These achievements highlight the company’s ability to leverage existing infrastructure within the transportation sector, giving it a clear advantage to scale quickly and move to commercialization,” a news release stated.
Company officials touted the following achievements:
- Signed memorandums of understanding with Reviva and Vander Haag’s Inc. and their successful integration of ClearFlame’s technology into a Class-8 truck, “validating the ability to seamlessly bring ClearFlame’s technology to scale using existing transportation solution providers and supply chains.”
- The commencement of ClearFlame’s first pilot fleet trial with Beck’s, “highlighting strong interest from commercial fleets.”
- The first-ever retail sale of E98 ethanol fuel, with CIE (Central Indiana Ethanol), CountryMark and Co-Alliance Cooperative Inc. acting as fueling partners for Beck’s, capitalizing on an existing network for the national distribution of ethanol.
“As these cross-industry partnerships indicate, our innovative technology for the decarbonization of heavy-duty engines can be effectively integrated and quickly scaled across the United States in the short term — not years from now. This is critical, particularly in industries like heavy-duty transportation,” said BJ Johnson, ClearFlame co-founder and CEO. “By leveraging an already existing eco-system and infrastructure, ClearFlame’s solution not only gets us to our climate goals faster but can do so less expensively — saving fleets money, without any green premium.”
Julie Blumreiter, ClearFlame co-founder and chief technology officer, said, “These critical milestones for ClearFlame are further proof of the flexibility and agility of our technology, which continues to hit every technological milestone at incredible speed. Our partnerships with Reviva and Vander Haag’s Inc. demonstrate that we can move extremely quickly to seamlessly capitalize upon the existing ecosystem of engine remanufacturers and more than 250,000 mechanics who already service diesel engines today in the U.S. with no need for additional infrastructure investment, special tools, or complicated training. And through our work with fleet partners like Beck’s, we’ll continue with extensive durability testing and validation of our technology, keeping our lower-cost solution on track for successful commercialization in late 2023.”
Beck’s, the largest family-owned retail seed company in the U.S. and third-largest seed brand, represents ClearFlame’s first official pilot. During the pilot, the truck is accumulating miles and driving long distances in a range of operating conditions, as well as short haul routes between the company’s Indiana locations, with a variety of different load types.
Several other pilots with other companies are also planned through the end of the year.
ClearFlame officials say they expect to achieve commercialization of their engine modification technology by the end of 2023. The company is currently working with the EPA to achieve all environmental approvals; trucks are currently running under EPA exemption.
Ethanol Fuel Coalition
While ClearFlame’s technology is fuel agnostic and can run on any clean fuel, its current engines run on ethanol, which is widely available across the United States as a blend component but is not currently for sale. In order to provide E98 to the ClearFlame-modified truck with Beck’s, a group of Indiana fuel providers came together, creating the first coalition enabling the use of ethanol as a truck fuel. These included Central Indiana Ethanol (as manufacturer), CountryMark (as distributor), and Co-Alliance Cooperative Inc. (as fuel retailer).
As previously announced, an independent study conducted by Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA), “demonstrated that ClearFlame’s technology lowers total costs while meeting sustainability goals sooner than currently available alternatives,” according to the news release.
- ClearFlame-enabled trucks are expected to have the lowest total cost of ownership when compared with diesel, natural gas, electric and hydrogen platforms.
- ClearFlame’s cost per mile is expected to be substantially lower than electric and hydrogen platforms—40% less than electric and 30% less than hydrogen.
- ClearFlame can provide a quick and cost-effective path to substantial reductions of greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions compared to other sustainable fuels and technologies, whose practical challenges, such as cost, range, infrastructure, and fuel availability, have slowed adoption.
- ClearFlame is estimated to provide a 42% lifecycle carbon reduction compared with diesel, as well as approximately 22% lower greenhouse gases than battery electric vehicles based on the national average grid mix.
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