Food Express, Inc. (FXI) a transporter of flour and malt barley throughout California for use in products such as bread, ramen noodles, tortillas and craft beer, has taken delivery of the first set of 46 new trucks for use on delivery routes. Eleven new ultra-low emission Kenworth T680 natural gas trucks contribute to California’s and FXI’s clean air solution.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and FXI announced the addition to the FXI fleet this week. The company, with the assistance of SoCalGas, applied for and received $1.1 million in grant funding for the new trucks which have already commenced deliveries. The purchase of 46 new trucks represents about 50 percent of FXI’s California fleet. Funding was received from the Prop 1B program administered by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP).
FXI is on the wait list for an additional $900,000 in Prop 1B grants from the San Diego Air Pollution Control District, which would be used to purchase another 9 trucks. Replacing 55 diesel trucks with new ultra-low emission natural gas trucks is the equivalent of taking more than 3,100 passenger cars off the road.
“As the owner of a local business that’s been in my family for four generations, it is important that our company be part of the clean air solution,” said Kevin Keeney, vice president of Arcadia, Calif.-based Food Express, Inc. “We’ve heard from many customers over the last few years about ways we can make our operation more environmentally-friendly. Our fleet travels about 7.5 million miles in California each year and the technological advancements of these new heavy-duty engines made our decision to switch to natural gas trucks an easy choice.”
“Over the last year, we’ve assisted SoCalGas customers with more than 400 applications for incentive funding to use for the trade in of existing diesel trucks for new natural gas ones,” said Yuri Freedman, senior director of business development for SoCalGas. “At a time when greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector are increasing, the move to clean technologies is vital if California is to achieve ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and air quality goals. These new natural gas trucks represent the only solution commercially available and will have an immediate impact on air quality.”
The transportation sector is responsible for about 41 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions and more than 80 percent of the state’s NOx emissions. These new heavy-duty natural gas trucks cut smog-forming emissions by more than 90 percent compared to the cleanest heavy-duty diesel trucks on the road today. When these ultra-low emission natural gas trucks are fueled by renewable natural gas, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by at least 80 percent. Already, close to 70 percent of natural gas fleets in California are fueled with renewable natural gas.
Results from a recent study conducted by the University of California, Riverside helps to understand one reason replacing these diesel trucks is so important. The study showed that NOx (smog-forming) emissions from diesel trucks are “actually much higher” than California Air Resources Board certification standards. The study cited poor performance of aftertreatment systems for diesel vehicles as the main reason. FXI replacing some of the oldest diesel trucks in its fleet with the ultra-low emission natural gas trucks will help achieve California’s clean air goals.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. The company is committed to being a leader in the region’s clean energy future, and is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas from dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants and the development of renewable energy storage technologies.