Low natural gas prices mean that, even though federal incentives may not come, it is still economical to power heavy trucks with the fuel, according to a report about up-front investment costs for the vehicles, which can be recovered in three years.
The Hill reports that the analysis was conducted by the consulting firm IHS CERA, and could be another blow to stalled legislation on Capitol Hill, which could provide billions of dollars in federal tax credits to help convert trucking fleets into using natural gas.
IHS CERA’s report shows that the trucking industry is better posed than the passenger vehicle market to use the natural gas fuel. Tiffany Groode, director of the IHS Automotive Long-Term Planning and Scenarios Service stated:
“Liquefied natural gas for heavy-duty trucking cracks the classic chicken-and-egg cycle that plagues new transportation technologies and fuels. The route is known, the mileage is high and economics is the primary decision factor.”
According to the Oil Gas Financial Journal, major fleet operators will likely be the first to deploy new LNG vehicles, because their larger scale will give them a greater ability to adopt newer technologies, and also manage operational logistics. The company expects that major fleet operators will gradually increase their purchases of new LNG (liquid natural gas) vehicles over the next two to four years. Rafael McDonald, IHS CERA director, global gas and LNG stated:
“Entry of natural gas vehicles into the heavy duty truck fleet will take some time—the change won’t happen overnight—but the motivations are there for both operators and suppliers to clear the hurdles that remain. Natural gas is a cheap and abundant fuel, and its use in the long-haul trucking industry provides a significant competitive advantage.”
Do you think that liquid natural gas trucks are more economic than our standard petroleum-based gas-fueled trucks?