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Fuel: Natural Gas Replacing Diesel?

Fuel is a large factor on how trucks get from point A to point B. It plays a critical factor in the transportation industry. Keep reading this article to learn about the changes in type of fuel used in the freight trucking industry.

According to a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report from March 2014, within the next 25 years the use of natural gas will grow considerably, specifically in use by freight trucking and commercial transportation.

This graph (shown below) from the Energy Information Administration shows this trend:

 

Use of Natural Gas:

Natural Gas

 

Source: Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2014

So why is this shift happening?

1. The U.S. government is imposing new fuel efficiency standards which will reduce diesel’s competitiveness.
2. Natural gas prices are currently lower than diesel and will save fleet owners money if they use it.

Disadvantages

While there are all these benefits to using natural gas instead of diesel, there are still a few concerns. Although natural gas is cheaper to use, the cost of a truck that runs on natural gas compared to one that runs on diesel is more expensive. Also, according to the Federal Regulatory Commission’s report from July 2014, global prices for natural gas are higher than the U.S. prices. If the natural gas prices in the U.S. reach the price of it in the rest of the world, natural gas wouldn’t have a price advantage over diesel.

These are just a few things to consider before you go switching your fleet to natural gas; the ultimate decision is up to you.

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