Did you know, according to the California Air Resources Board, that while children spend less than 10% of their day on a school bus, this time accounts for 33% of their daily exposure to some air pollutants? However, with a transition to alternative fuel, your fleet can significantly reduce emission levels and subsequently, air pollution.
FUEL THE FUTURE OF STUDENTS
Provide a sustainable solution to the students, communities and districts you serve through a fleet transition to alternative fuel.
- Customer-driven: Social pressures to provide cleaner transportation options are amounting in the market. Because of that, many districts are transitioning their fleets to alternative fuel to meet the growing demand. Through an alternative fuel transition, you can strengthen your brand’s image by providing a cleaner solution addressing air quality issues valued by the communities you serve.
- Sustainability Performance: The Environmental Protection Agency has identified the transportation sector as the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions compromising air quality for over 134 million Americans. However, using alternative fuel, you can combat that through significant reductions in greenhouse gas and emission levels.
- Policy/Economics: To make the transition to alternative fuel feasible, state and federal governments are deploying a variety of strategies to lessen pollution from transportation. For example, diesel buses continue to experience higher vehicle registration rates and fuel taxation, while those using alternative fuel have access to grant funding programs to offset new vehicle and infrastructure investments. In the case of renewable natural gas, environmental financial credits are available to further improve your fleets bottom line.
Every fleet has distinct applications and terrain considerations. Coupled with evaluation of your current and desired fleet profile, a brief conversation with us can often lead to the best recommendation.
Natural gas has however been a common selection for many fleets as technologies for electric and hydrogen fuel cell models continue to develop. This is in part because natural gas vehicles have large tank capacities making them ideal for longer trips. Also, a natural gas selection can alleviate pressures from budgetary constraints due to its low, stable price-per-gallon, serving as a sustainable and financial solution for your fleet.
Alternative fueling infrastructure is always being improved to meet your fleet’s needs; however, natural gas is currently one of the most advanced options allowing for public or private and fast-fill or time-fill options.
Operating on a return-to-base pattern, onsite time-fill fueling allows your fleet to refuel overnight, saving time and cost. Drivers can plug in after each shift and return the next morning to a fully fueled bus. Also, as your fleet expands, so can your station!
Infrastructure relative to emerging fuels such as hydrogen and electric are a bit more questionable. Certainly, developments are happening, but timing is essential. We can’t stress enough – start infrastructure conversations with fueling providers like us, sooner, rather than later to ensure as your vehicles arrive, you’ll be equipped to use them.
This all comes down to where your fleet will be sourced and operating. 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. A few of the current programs include the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, California Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Oregon Clean Fuel Program. The grant program landscape is changing often – 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.
A transition to alternative fuel results in economic and sustainable benefits for your district and fleet. On the economic side, alternative fuel can strengthen your financial performance thanks to government programs, tax incentives, alternative fuel credits and stable fuel pricing, especially with the selection of natural gas.
Furthermore, the benefits alternative fuel provides your surrounding communities are unrivaled. Alternative fuel provides reductions in greenhouse gas emissions resulting in cleaner air quality. Specifically, renewable natural gas, in comparison to diesel and electric, has significantly lower lifecycle, or well-to-wheel, greenhouse gas emissions. This reduction in emissions, from operating and idling buses, has a tremendous health benefit for students and the surrounding communities.
Emerging Technologies: Electrification has been gaining tracking in the market. If this is an avenue you’re considering for your fleet, it’s important to note although the technology has progressed, there is still much development yet to be done. Battery electric heavy-duty vehicles are still ~3 years out from commercialization while fuel cell electric vehicles are even further out. Infrastructure isn’t developed, and in terms of fueling stations and in the case of battery, grid upgrades are necessary. Emerging technologies like these will make an incredible impact on air quality once developed, but, know they’re likely not going to help your efforts in the near-term.
Maintenance: Purchasing a vehicle is one step in your transition to alternative fuel, but another step, crucial 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 maintenance) plan ahead of time to keep your fleet on the road.