Nonprofit Offers Strategy Guide for Fleets Considering NGVs
Public and private fleet operators could save money by switching to natural gas vehicles (NGVs) using the business model that energy service companies (ESCOs) apply to energy efficiency projects, according to a guide released by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).
C2ES notes that although switching to NGVs can lower costs, many fleet managers have not converted their fleets. The nonprofit says its new report helps investors and state and local policymakers make decisions about deploying NGVs in public and private fleets, which are among the most initially promising areas.
The findings are part of a two-year initiative, in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, to develop innovative finance mechanisms aimed at accelerating the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and fueling infrastructure.
The guide analyzes the cost-saving potential for switching tractor-trailer truck, school bus, and light-duty vehicle fleets. Key findings include the following:
– Incorporating NGVs into fleets can significantly reduce petroleum use and harmful emissions, especially with tractor-trailer fleets.
– The major factors affecting the financial performance of NGV fleets are the fleet’s vehicle technology and vehicle usage patterns.
– NGV projects for tractor-trailer fleets result in net cost savings under nearly every fleet size and travel scenario considered in the guide’s analysis.
– Using natural gas to fuel school bus fleets also results in net cost savings for fleets whose vehicles travel about 20,000 miles per year.
– An energy service provider can help with the transition to natural gas by familiarizing fleet managers with new technology, identifying a project’s greatest savings potential, reducing financial risk, and helping maximize financial payoff.
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The report, “Strategic Planning to Enable ESCOs to Accelerate NGV Fleet Deployment: A Guide for Businesses and Policymakers,” is available here.