Award for BSR Berlin: Allison-equipped CNG trucks fueled by organic refuse

The fleet at Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR) is even more environmentally friendly with 150 Allison-equipped Mercedes-Benz Econic refuse vehicles, now running on self-produced municipality bio natural gas.

BERLIN, Germany – In summer 2013, Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR) opened its first biogas plant in Spandau-Ruhleben, built as part of a large environmentally-conscious project undertaken to increase renewable fuel usage within the fleet. BSR’s project is unique in Germany and recently won in the “A Place of Excellence in the Land of Ideas” contest.

The new BSR treatment facility is expected to process about 60,000 tons of organic waste annually, all collected from “Biogut” containers by newly converted refuse vehicles. Once transported to the plant, micro-organisms within the bio waste release raw biogas during fermentation of the biodegradable material. The biogas is then processed into bio natural gas (also called bio-methane) and distributed to three BSR stations in Marzahn, Prenzlauer Berg and Wilmersdorf, where the refuse fleet refuels.

With the opening of this highly regarded facility, BSR now operates about 150 Mercedes-Benz Econic CNG refuse trucks on its own renewable bio natural gas, rather than natural gas made from non-renewable fossil fuels. This includes 22 new refuse trucks that BSR purchased as replacements for older models in October 2013. All Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks are exclusively fitted with Allison fully automatic transmissions 3000 Series™ as they help maximize CNG engine performance.

Allison’s patented torque converter compensates for the slower response-time-to-throttle cycles typical of natural gas engines, multiplying engine torque at vehicle launch and smoothly transferring power to the drive wheels. As a result, whether using renewable bio natural gas or natural gas derived from fossil fuels, vehicles deliver superior performance, while increasing fuel efficiency. Additionally, the helical gear set combined with the Mercedes OM 906 LAG engine help contribute to quieter operation.

By substituting bio natural gas for diesel fuel in these refuse vehicles, BSR will save about 2.5 million liters of diesel each year, while reducing carbon dioxide by 6,200 tons, as well as nitrogen oxide, sulfur and other particulate emissions. Furthermore, through the repurposing of biological waste for cleaner burning fuel, rather than using crops which could otherwise produce food, BSR has taken a sustainable approach to fueling its fleet.

“Allison is committed to ecological preservation and prepared to partner with customers to find the best green solutions within all applications,” said Peter van Cuijk, Manager of International Marketing Projects at Allison Transmission. “Berliner Stadtreinigung’s project is an excellent example of how our transmissions can help organizations decrease growing carbon footprints.”

14 Jan, 2014


Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is a leading designer and manufacturer of vehicle propulsion solutions for commercial and defense vehicles, the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions, and a leader in electrified propulsion systems that Improve the Way the World Works. Allison products are used in a wide variety of applications, including on-highway trucks (distribution, refuse, construction, fire and emergency), buses (school, transit and coach), motorhomes, off-highway vehicles and equipment (energy, mining and construction applications) and defense vehicles (tactical wheeled and tracked). Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. With a presence in more than 150 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil, manufacturing facilities in the USA, Hungary and India, as well as global engineering resources, including electrification engineering centers in Indianapolis, Indiana, Auburn Hills, Michigan and London in the United Kingdom. Allison also has more than 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit