“The survey confirms the growing interest in natural gas by carriers” – Richard Mikes, TCP partner
Transport Capital Partners (TCP), provider of transportation advisory services and Americas Commercial Transportation (ACT) Research, industry data analyst and forecaster, have released the results of a survey of U.S. carriers/shippers concerning their views about the potential use of natural gas for their fleets. Of the carriers surveyed, 44.4 percent had a length of haul of between 300-600 miles and 90.3 percent used their Class 8 trucks.
NGVAmerica lists some of the key findings:
- Slightly more than half (51.4 percent) of the carriers surveyed are considering natural gas-fueled trucks when new trucks are purchased
- 27.8 percent of carriers expect natural gas will account for 16-25 percent of their fleet five years from now, with 19 percent predicting it will account for 6-15 percent of their fleet
- For carriers considering natural gas, LNG was preferred over CNG by 38
- Almost half (45.8 percent) report their knowledge of the natural gas option as “average” or “above average.”
However, the survey pointed out barriers to more rapid growth of NGVs in this market, including:
- Almost half of carriers surveyed would require a commercial natural gas fueling station to be within 100 miles of their operations
- About 94 percent of respondents cite fuel station availability as an obstacle while almost 90 percent are concerned about higher vehicle purchase price.
- Additional concerns include product specs/performance (51.4 percent) and secondary market value for resale (50 percent).
- While carriers are interested in the natural gas option, three-fourths of carriers would need a payback in only one to two years to facilitate a purchase decision.
Half of the carriers surveyed reported they would evaluate the new truck technology in this year and the next, with 28 percent saying that there will not be any new plans until 2013. “The survey confirms the growing interest in natural gas by carriers encouraged by the large difference in price, but also shows the complexities of choices in terms of type of fuel, fuel supply systems, payload impact, station availability, and so forth,” said Richard Mikes, TCP partner and survey leader.