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GE Capital and Clean Energy form strategic alliance to accelerate adoption of natural gas in trucking industry
21 October 2013
GE Capital’s Transportation Finance business and Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America, have entered into a strategic alliance to accelerate the conversion of heavy-duty trucking fleets from diesel to cleaner-burning, less-expensive natural gas.
Truck fleet operators will first work with Clean Energy to develop natural gas fueling contracts, and will then apply for loans and leases, including fair market value leases, from GE Capital to acquire trucks from manufacturers that produce commercial natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Clean Energy will then help offset the monthly cost of newly-acquired NGVs to make it consistent with the cost of a diesel truck, if the customer makes a fuel commitment.
Class 8 trucks can use both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Both CNG and LNG cost significantly less than diesel—a key factor considering that fuel comprises nearly 40% of a typical over-the-road carrier’s operational costs.
Two of the factors that had delayed the transition to natural gas in the over-the-road trucking industry were related to technology and infrastructure. With the ongoing refinement and expanded availability of natural gas engines by commercial vehicle manufacturers and the 400+ natural gas fueling stations owned, operated, maintained and/or supplied by Clean Energy throughout the US and Canada, those issues are being addressed, the partners said.
The new announcement expands the existing relationship between Clean Energy and GE Capital by building on two previous agreements between the companies to develop the nation’s natural gas fueling infrastructure.
There are more than 13 million natural gas vehicles in use worldwide, according to Clean Energy, which also said that 25% of all new buses and 60% of refuse trucks currently on order in the US will be powered by natural gas.
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