Did you know for the third straight year, transportation is the largest generator of emissions that cause poor air quality? However, to combat these emission levels, many fleets are transitioning to alternative fuel. In fact, roughly 60% of all new refuse trucks run on natural gas instead of diesel. Now’s the time to consider how your refuse trucks are currently impacting air quality and how you can make a positive change by transitioning to alternative fuel.
RENEW YOUR FUEL STRATEGY
Alternative fuel improves air quality through emission reductions. But – have you also considered implications to your fleet or transportation budget? A transition to alternative fuel isn’t only helping others, but can help your business too.
The refuse industry is known for widespread utilization of alternative fuel, specifically natural gas, thanks in part to vehicle utilization. Refuse routes typically have the luxury of returning to a central location at the end of each shift, which lends itself well to alternative fuel and specifically, time-fill fueling.
Many options exist, but the most applicable and widely adopted by refuse fleets is that of natural gas. More than 60 percent of all new refuse vehicles purchased run on clean burning natural gas. The technology is proven ensuring your downtime is minimal. Additionally, fleets can consider using renewable natural gas, which can provide incredible environmental benefits, in addition to economic savings. If your refuse company has ownership in a landfill, you may have the option to install equipment to produce RNG onsite.
Some fleets are testing the waters with electric, but those vehicles currently come at a much higher premium than natural gas models.
Any return-to-base route lends itself well to onsite fueling, which means, you have the option to install fueling at your location. Additionally, if natural gas is your fuel of choice, onsite (also known as private) stations can be designed to leverage time-fill fueling technology, meaning the vehicles can be fueled overnight or during idle periods. Onsite fueling comes with convenience and cost savings benefits; time-fill fueling presents even greater savings.
If your fleet opts for public fueling – there are many natural gas alternative fueling stations available, and, more coming.
In some cases, yes. In others, no. This question really boils down to where you’ll be using the vehicles. Many states appropriate budget toward advancement of clean fuel adoption. For you, this likely can come in the form of grants to either purchase new alternative fuel vehicles or build new alternative fueling infrastructure. The grant program landscape is often changing – reach out and we can link you to funding in your area.
Aside from grants, economic incentives in the form of lower taxes and reduced registration fees positively impact the total cost of ownership. In the case of renewable natural gas, you can expect a low, nonvolatile fuel cost, in addition to potential environmental credits that sweeten its financial attractiveness.
Maintenance: Purchasing a vehicle is one step in your transition to alternative fuel, but one step not to overlook is maintenance. Alternative fuel vehicles, regardless of fuel type, require different maintenance intervals than their diesel counterparts. This doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive – just, different timing and requirements. Define your maintenance (and back-up) plan ahead of time to keep your refuse fleet on the road.
Charging: If your future with alternative fuel involves a need for recharging, be sure to engage your local utility provider as soon as possible. Upgrades to your facility can take upwards of 18 months, and beyond in some cases. The sooner utilities can plan for your needs, the faster you’ll be using the vehicles.