Icom North America, a developer and manufacturer of liquid-injection propane (autogas) systems for commercial and consumer vehicles, received 17 new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifications for its patented JTG II Propane Liquid Injection bi-fuel systems.
This is not the first time this has happened. Icom’s total number of EPA certifications now stands at 40, covering approximately three million vehicles presently on the road, primarily Ford and GM fleet vehicles. The company soon expects to receive additional certifications for Ford, GM and Dodge vehicles.
The 17 new certifications, however, cover approximately 200 2010-2012 General Motors Chevrolet and GMC brand light-duty trucks and SUV platforms with 4.8 and 5.3L engines. The EPA certifications allow Icom to convert these popular fleet vehicles in the U.S. market for propane/autogas bi-fuel use.
The Chevrolet-brand vehicles include Silverado, Tahoe, Express vans, Avalanche and Suburban. The GMC-brand vehicles include Sierra, Yukon and Savana vans.
Icom's JTG II system is now available for over 400 vehicle platforms, which is the most of any liquid-injection system in the U.S. market. Albert Venezio, chairman of Icom North America, said: "Icom JTG II Systems are installed at quality vehicle up-fitters and installation centers nationally through the Icom Distribution Network partners."
"We are continually adding qualified installation centers through our distribution network. Further, Icom works closely with propane fuel supply partners for propane fueling and infrastructure for fleets. Fleets across the country are moving to domestic- and green-propane autogas."
Venezio added that Jasper Engines and Transmissions Alternative Fuels Division provided Icom with the GM vehicles for integration. Jasper, founded in 1942, is an Indiana-based, employee-owned company that is one of the nation's largest remanufacturers of a diverse line of drive-train components.
The Jasper Alternate Fuels Division was formed 20 years ago and has over 70 installation locations throughout the U.S. "Partnering with Icom allows us to present the latest liquid propane injected technology on the market and enhances the progress we have already made in the alternate fuels arena," said Ed Zoglman, division manager. A major federal agency is interested in ordering many systems.
Previous to the recent 17 EPA certifications for GM vehicle Icom had been awarded 23 EPA certifications: two for Ford 6.8L E-Series vehicles, 13 for 2009 through 2011 model year Ford light-duty trucks equipped with 5.4 and 4.6L engines covering E-Series vans, Navigators and Expeditions, and eight for all Ford E-Series vans, Expeditions, Crown Victorias, Lincoln Town Cars and Navigators.
As gasoline prices rise, propane continues to have a cost advantage, with more than 95 percent of the nation’s propane coming from the U.S. and the balance from Canadian sources, further reducing dependence on foreign oil. In certain U.S. states, fleet owners benefit from tax credits or rebates as well.
"We believe propane – a domestic fuel source -- is the most energy-efficient and practical alternative fuel currently available," Ralph Perpetuini, CEO of Icom North America, said. "Icom JTG II bi-fuel systems allow vehicles to operate primarily on propane, with gasoline as a back-up source and for extended range."
Since 2004, Icom North America has been supplying its patented JTG liquid-injection propane systems to leading bus, truck and commercial vehicle manufacturers in the United States. Approximately 150,000 vehicles worldwide have been equipped with the Icom JTG Propane System since 2004. JTG II includes an enhanced multi-valve for rapid filling and an integrated fuel pump for ease of service.
Currently, propane fuel is used primarily on commercial vehicles. Icom's proprietary vehicle-conversion systems also can be used on any gasoline fuel-injected car or truck, including shuttles, vans, hybrids, taxis, police vehicles or passenger cars.
The company’s patented JTG liquid-propane injection application is a fully-integrated, mono-fuel or bi-fuel engine system. It is designed specifically for use with OEM gasoline engines. The JTG II system often delivers substantial fuel economy improvements when compared to propane-vapor-injection systems, as well as increased power, torque and performance.