To take advantage of this opportunity, truck fleet operators will first work with Clean Energy to develop natural gas fueling contracts.
"We think this alliance will help to open up the natural gas market for long-haul operators," said Dan Clark, president and general manager of GE Capital, Transportation Finance. "The alliance will support die parties' mutual goal of reducing the financial impact of transitioning to natural gas and lowering the industry environmental footprint."
Class 8, or heavy-duty, trucks can use both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Both CNG and LNG cost significantly less than diesel - a key factor considering that fuel comprises nearly 40% of a typical over-the-road carrier's operational costs.
Two of the factors that had delayed the transition to natural gas in the over-the-road trucking industry were related to technology and infrastructure. With the ongoing refinement and expanded availability of natural gas engines by commercial vehicle manufacturers and the 400-plus natural gas fueling stations owned, operated, maintained and/or supplied by Clean Energy throughout the U.S. and Canada, those issues are being addressed.