Ditching Diesel for Natural Gas

Natural gas powered trucks are having an enormous impact on US energy consumption and the overall economy.  These trucks are a clean alternative to the current diesel gas guzzling fleets across the country. However, most individuals are under the impression that it costs money to “go green.”

When considering the fixed and variable costs of the trucking industry. The cost of buying a truck and fuel expenditures respectively come to mind. According to Greg Treinen, a product marketing manager of alternative fuels for Freightliner Trucks, a division of Daimler Trucks North America, “Although natural gas-powered trucks cost around $40,000 more, companies could make up that difference in less than two years because of fuel cost savings.” Current diesel gas prices fluctuate closely around $4 a gallon. In comparison, natural gas prices have hit their lowest prices in the last decade, at around $3.25 a gallon. Switching to natural gas can save companies tens of thousands of dollars in annual fuel costs for trucks of about the same size, power and payload, according to Daimler Trucks.

Interest for natural gas powered trucks has increased because of the cost savings. The high demand for these trucks has also created a high demand for natural gas fueling centers. Infrastructure has been slow to accommodate users of the alternative fuel. However, in announcement made by Shell, they have plans to develop 100 filling stations at travel centers across the country. Clean Energy Fuels made a similar announcement and will add 150 fueling centers in the next two years. These developments have me optimistic for the future of motor carrier operations.

References and further reading:

http://www.thegreensupplychain.com/news/12-06-19-1.php?cid=5945

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/sep/04/more-natural-gas-powered-trucks-to-hit-nations/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304707604577422192910235090.html

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/ng_pri_sum_dcu_nus_m.htm

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