WASHIINGTON, DC. Power Solutions International (PSI) will be showing a clean-fuel pilot vehicle belonging to online grocery delivery service Peapod this week at the 2013 Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Washington, DC.

The 6L delivery truck on display is the latest addition to a pilot program that PSI began with Peapod in late 2012. In the first phase, PSI outfitted four Peapod delivery trucks with 4.8L engines, two that ran on propane and two that ran on natural gas.

“With more than 23 million grocery orders delivered across 24 U.S. markets, we are committed to making our fleet as eco-friendly as possible. This pilot is the first step in a process to find the most environmentally impactful solution,” said Andrew Parkinson, Peapod president and general manager.

In the pilot program, PSI delivered fully integrated, drop-in powertrain solutions customized to Peapod’s trucks, with transmission, fuel tanks, and recommended fueling strategy. The 4.8L propane-powered engines featured special components including enhanced heads and valve-seat inserts, new engine-control systems and fuel systems.

The pilot trucks were driven in a suburban Chicago service area with a 160-mi. radius. To date, the pilot has yielded cost per mile results of $0.32 per mile for propane, versus a cost of $0.52 per mile for unleaded gasoline - a savings of more than 38%, PSI said. Driver feedback has been very positive, with no service issues reported and only minimal maintenance. Based on the pilot’s success, Peapod is now working on a project to speed up fueling access.

“We are pleased with the results so far of this pilot program with Peapod,” said Eric Cohen, PSI’s COO. “The goal of the Peapod pilot is to establish the financial and operational viability of using clean on-highway power systems for its delivery fleet, in order to reduce emissions and fuel costs.”