Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States, has launched a SoCalGas Truck Loan Program – a“try before you buy” service. The program allows qualified fleet owners the opportunity to try out the latest in heavy-duty natural gas truck technology by test driving a 12-Liter near-zero truck.
This program provides fleet owners with the opportunity to haul loads with the new truck for up to two weeks. Operators will experience the similarities between natural gas trucks and diesel trucks with respect to power, drivability, fuel range and fuel availability. Additionally, fleet owners will see the advantages natural gas trucks have over diesel, including lower fuel costs.
SoCalGas is working in partnership with the truck’s owner, Rush Truck Centers, the only company with a 12-Liter near-zero natural gas truck equipped with a Cummins Westport ISX12N engine and Momentum Fuel system available for rent in Southern California. As part of the rental program, customers will participate in a “pre-rental” and “post-rental” survey of their natural gas vehicle driving experience. The survey will include topics such as truck performance, fueling availability, grants and incentives and purchase decision.
“More fleet owners have switched to natural gas trucks over the last few years, due in part to available incentive funding,” said Sharon Tomkins, vice president of customer solutions and strategy for SoCalGas. “However, some are unfamiliar with the technology and are hesitant to make the switch. The SoCalGas Truck Loan Program is the perfect way to put natural gas trucks to the test on routes driven every day.”
This loan program is just one tool SoCalGas is using to get more drivers behind the wheel of the cleanest heavy-duty truck commercially available. SoCalGas account executives have assisted dozens of fleet owners with incentive funding applications to purchase more than 350 near-zero natural gas trucks and build five new CNG fueling stations since the beginning of the year. Replacing 350 diesel trucks with near-zero natural gas trucks is the equivalent of taking more than 20,000 passenger cars off the road.
For more information on the Truck Loan Program or to inquire about upcoming funding programs, contact Wendell Peoples at WPeoples@semprautilities.com.