Throughout the transportation industry, more and more carriers are committing to use alternative, sustainable fuels to power heavy-duty vehicles. The low cost of natural gas, in particular, is attractive since diesel prices are high and often volatile. Additionally, natural gas is produced domestically and is abundantly available. Many environmental groups champion natural gas because it is cleaner-burning and emits fewer greenhouse gases than diesel.
Despite these benefits, some challenges face fleets that desire to convert to natural gas. Primarily, because natural gas use in commercial vehicles is a relatively new phenomenon, the national fueling infrastructure is limited—though it is expanding. And trucks running on natural gas require different fuel delivery systems in the engines than those powered with diesel, as well as special fuel tanks; at this time, only a few engine/fuel delivery system options are readily available for heavy-duty trucks—and they are expensive. However, the options have expanded in the last year.
For more information, check out our white paper: Natural Gas in the Transportation Industry. This document is designed to educate readers on natural gas options in the United States and outline the benefits and challenges of operating a heavy-duty fleet with this sustainable fuel. In addition, we highlight Ruan's experience using compressed natural gas (CNG) in the fleet.