Will Natural Gas Change the Trucking Industry?
Image Source: Flickr/andyarthur
When it comes to natural gas, trucking companies across the country are beginning to take notice for their fleets. A number of factors have lead to this trend and the choice could mean lower prices for consumers due to reduced shipping costs.
According to NGVAmerica, an organization dedicated to promoting the use of natural gas in vehicles, a great deal of money can be saved by using natural gas. Trucking companies can expect to save anywhere from $1.50 to $2.00 per gallon when compared to diesel fuel prices. Since most rigs get around 8 miles per gallon, this can add up to significant savings. While it may cost a great deal of money initially to purchase a natural gas truck or convert an existing one, the savings will likely be realized in only a short while.
As companies around the country increasingly realize the need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, interest in natural gas is now being recognized as a viable solution to this dilemma. There is an abundance of natural gas available in the United States, with experts estimating that there is plenty of it in stock, enough to last for another 100 years. The abundance and availability of natural gas means that truck drivers would no longer have to worry about the instability of fuel prices nor would they continue to feel the pain of the price at the pump. A company called Clean Energy is currently looking at ways to make the supply more readily available to the general public.
Navistar Engine Group is collaborating with Clean Energy and Chesapeake Energy to help create a new infrastructure for the distribution of natural gas. Trucking companies are likely to notice more natural gas fueling stations pop up in the next few years. Chesapeake Energy is concentrating on producing more natural gas, while Clean Energy is in the process of building more of these stations. More than 100 new natural gas filling stations are expected to appear along some of our nation’s busiest highways starting in 2013.
Development of New Vehicles
Navistar is currently trying to expand the number of vehicles powered by natural gas. It is expected that trucking companies and fleets will be purchasing thousands of new vehicles during the coming months and it is expected that within the next few years, 15,000 to 20,000 natural gas vehicles will be sold annually. An increasing number of trucking companies are interested and eager to get on board once there once natural gas stations become available for use. When that system is in place, many companies plan on making the switch to natural gas-powered trucks rather than continue to run on diesel fuel.
Trucking companies and consumer groups alike are encouraged by the possibility of using natural gas to power many of the nation’s semi trucks. This could ultimately lead to new employment opportunities, a lower price for raw goods and materials, not to mention a leap in the right direction towards moving away from foreign oil dependence. Trucking companies around the country are hoping that natural gas holds a bright future for them and their business.
Posted on December 14th, 2012 in Trucking Industry