As a transportation fuel, natural gas has a lot to offer: It is cheap, abundant and clean. The downsides: lack of available pumps, less power and a higher up-front cost for the vehicle. These are hard to overlook, but fleets are doing just that in an effort to cut their fueling costs.
Today, natural gas sells for a price equivalent of $1 to $2 per gallon less than diesel. "As we get more filling stations across the country, more and more truck fleets are looking to take advantage of that cost differential," says Bill Boyce, regional sales manager at Cummins Westport, whose model ISL-G engine can run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquid natural gas (LNG).