Heavy Duty

As many fleet operators and organizations have discovered, heavy-duty vehicles represent the largest opportunity to replace foreign oil with natural gas as a transportation fuel. Heavy-duty vehicles like transit buses, semi-trucks, school buses, waste disposal trucks and delivery vehicles powered by CNG provide the same performance as those powered by diesel and gasoline engines.

Buses

Because they operate on well-defined routes in local areas, transit buses and school buses are usually centrally refueled making them ideal for CNG. In 2009, one of every five new transit buses was fueled by natural gas. CNG transit bus fleets operate in major cities across the U.S. and are produced by major manufactures due to increasing demand each year. Currently, there are more than 2,500 CNG buses in school districts across the country. Mansfield, Texas, is one such district where yellow buses have gone green.

With buses in the U.S. currently using a total of 113,000 barrels of oil per day and emitting large amounts of exhaust, the conversion of buses to CNG is one of the best ways to save tax-payer dollars and improve air quality.

Contact your Clean Cities Coordinator or school district and urge them to change to CNG buses as soon as possible.

Semi-trucks

“Heavy trucks” or “semis,” which include Class 7 and Class 8 trucks weighing more than 26,000 lbs, are one of the largest consumers of foreign oil in the U.S. The Energy Information Administration estimates that there are currently 4.8 million heavy trucks on the road, consuming more than 1.6 million barrels of oil per day, mostly in the form of diesel fuel.

These trucks have an average fuel economy of only about six miles per gallon due to their heavy weight, so most would require liquefied natural gas (LNG). Using LNG, these vehicles operate with the same horsepower and performance as their diesel counterparts. The LNG used in these vehicles comes from the liquification of domestic natural gas. Cleaner for the environment, these LNG trucks also save on fuel costs, which can only improve the economics of U.S. transportation.

Major manufacturers such as Kenworth and Sterling offer natural gas-powered trucks today and other manufacturers are planning to follow their lead.

Refuse Vehicles

With lower operating and life-cycle costs, quieter engines, and reduced air pollution, waste management companies like Allied Waste Services of Idaho have begun to shift their fleets to CNG.

The new CNG trucks save Allied Waste up to $40,000 in fuel costs each year, helping to keep municipal trash rates low. The higher up-front costs of purchasing a CNG vehicle are largely offset by federal tax credits; the rest is recovered in fuel cost savings.

Read the full Allied Waste story here.