To help overcome initial barriers to trucking fleets switching to natural gas vehicles (NGV), Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has created a financing program that could allow fleet operators to obtain near-zero emission trucks at the same or a lower price than the cost of a comparable diesel engine truck.

New NGV trucks would be equipped with a Cummins Westport (CWI) ISX 12N engine certified by the Environmental Protection Agency, tested at least 90% lower on nitrogen oxide emissions than the current EPA standard.

“The Zero Now Financing program levels the financial playing field by removing the price differential of a natural gas truck versus a diesel truck," said CEO Andrew Littlefair. "This combination will give fleets a considerable sustainability advantage, which could result in winning more business. The goal is to significantly reduce the environmental impact of heavy-duty trucking and widen the adoption of natural gas as a clean, American-made fuel to move America’s goods around the country.”

Earlier this year, Clean Energy began offering one year of $1/gallon renewable natural gas for trucks using some CWI engines.

Meanwhile, Brookhaven, NY, which switched the city’s fleet from diesel to compressed natural gas a decade ago, agreed to another five-year contract with Clean Energy to supply NGV fueling. Brookhaven is considering an initial volume of 550,000 gasoline gallon equivalents annually to fuel 80 new refuse and recycling trucks.

Clean Energy has signed similar multi-year contracts in California with Redlands, San Bernardino and Beverly Hills. Elsewhere, new or expanded contracts have been reached by the company for trucking and transit fleets in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Arizona.

In other news, in a 2-1 vote by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Wednesday, judges ruled to temporarily suspend implementing the Trump administration’s decision to not enforce EPA pollution limits on so-called "glider trucks," which are essentially older, diesel freight-hauling trucks.

"The Trump administration's decision to allow more of these dirty diesel trucks on our roads was made without any public input and with reckless disregard for the serious public health threats they will cause," said Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp.