Program may support the development of up to 5 regional Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) corridors for alt-fuel trucks
On tour at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA)’s truck manufacturing plant in Mt Holly, North Carolina mid last week, President Barack Obama announced a new USD 1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge to help boost the deployment of clean, advanced vehicles across America: “If you make a commitment to buy more advanced vehicles for your community — whether they run on electricity or biofuels or natural gas — we’ll help you cut through the red tape and build fueling stations nearby.”
Launching the “Race to the Top” challenge for communities to encourage advanced vehicle adoption, the President said the $1 billion challenge will catalyze up to 10 to 15 model communities to invest in the necessary infrastructure, remove the regulatory barriers, and create the local incentives to support deployment of advanced vehicles at critical mass. This fuel-neutral proposal will allow communities to determine if electrification, natural gas, or other alternative fuels would be the best fit. Deployment Communities would serve as real-world laboratories, leveraging limited federal resources to develop different models to deploy advanced vehicles at scale.
The program would also support the development of up to 5 regional Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) corridors where alternative fuel trucks can transport goods without using a drop of oil.
The President is proposing a new tax incentive for commercial trucks that provides a credit for 50% of the incremental cost of a dedicated alternative-fuel truck, including trucks powered by natural gas or electricity, for a five-year period.
He was in the State to discuss more ways his administration is taking an all-of-the-above approach to American energy. He talked about how his administration is pursuing new domestic energy sources, expanding oil and gas production, and reducing the country’s overall reliance on oil through development of renewable energy.
At the end of last week, in his Weekly Address (10 March), the President also called on Congress to end the $4 billion in subsidies to oil companies each year so that more funds can be channeled toward investment in clean energy technologies.
“I want this Congress to stop the giveaways to an oil industry that’s never been more profitable, and invest in a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising. We should be investing in the technology that’s building the cars and trucks and jets that will prevent us from dealing with these high gas prices year after year after year,” he said.
Daimler Trucks North America is a partner in the US Energy Department’s SuperTruck initiative, which is focused on increasing the fuel efficiency of long haul trucks, or 18-wheelers, by 50 percent by 2015. While long-haul trucks represent only 4 percent of the on-road vehicles in America, they are responsible for almost 20 percent of the country’s on-road fuel consumption, with this class of vehicle currently consuming more than 30 billion gallons of gasoline a year.
The Mount Holly plant is part of DTNA’s network of commercial vehicle manufacturing facilities and produces the company’s Freightliner Business Class M2 and severe duty product lines, including the M2 112 and 114SD natural gas vehicles.