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Alternative Fuel Vehicles

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New ATV Takes Fuel Efficiency to New Levels

(ARA) – Alternative fueled vehicles are of growing interest in the automobile industry, but what about the All Terrain Vehicle industry? Arctic Cat, a $736-million public company based in Thief River Falls, Minn., makes snowmobiles and ATV’s worldwide. The manufacturer has just announced and completed development of a twin-cylinder diesel ATV, the first on the market.

The Arctic Cat diesel ATV will be aimed at markets around the globe. In fact, that is how the whole concept started. In European markets, half of passenger vehicles, and most offroad vehicles rely on #2 diesel fuel that can be up to 25 percent the cost of gasoline. Other users of the ATV are the military, which are working toward one common fuel (JP 8) for all their vehicles; others include American farmers and ranchers who have started to use Bio Diesel in all their machinery.

The 686cc twin cylinder, SOHC 4-stroke diesel engine, provides 30 percent greater fuel mileage over a conventional gasoline engine and provides gobs of low-end torque. The engine runs efficiently on six forms of diesel fuel (#1 DF 1, #2 DF 2, DF A Arctic, JP 5, JP 8 and Bio Diesel) with a glow plug pre-heater assist for starting.

If the term Bio Diesel has caught your attention, Arctic Cat hadn’t originally planned to test the new ATV on the alternative fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fat until the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) and the Minnesota Soybean Growers floated the biofuels idea. “They were very interested,” says Michael Sparby, AURI project director.

“Arctic Cat was very impressed with B20,” says Ole Tweet, vice president of new product development. The blend burns cleaner than conventional diesel, producing fewer carbon dioxide emissions and lower levels of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulates.

“That complements Arctic Cat’s stewardship goals,” Tweet says. “We’re trying to reduce the impact of our ATV’s on the environment and we like the idea of making an ATV that could run on renewable fuel grown by farmers, some of our best customers.”

According to the National Biodiesel Board, there is strong interest in extending the alternative fuel uses in commercial lawn-care equipment, small home generators, as well as large electrical generators that utilize backup diesel generators. In some areas, a B5 blend is being distributed for home heating, while the marine industry is testing biodiesel in large barges and towboats because the fuel is biodegradable in water, decreasing environmental risks and increasing fuel efficiency.

To learn more about the Arctic Cat diesel ATV, visit www.arcticcat.com, or log on to www.auri.org to learn more about biodiesel.

Courtesy of ARA Content







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