As gasoline prices rise, using an alternative fuel for your fleet could help lower your fleet’s operating costs.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the demand for alternative fuel sources has led to an increased demand of six green fuels among advanced vehicles.
In this guide, learn about…
- Alternative Fuel Prices Compared to Gasoline Costs
- Six Alternative Fuels for Truck Owners
- Incentives for Alternative Fuels
- Find an Alternative Fueling Station Near You
- Get Your Alternative Fueled Truck Sooner with Beacon Funding
Alternative Fuel Prices Compared to Gasoline Costs
When the average retail price of gasoline costs more than $4 a gallon, switching over to an alternative fuel can reduce your fleet's expenses.
And as alternative fueling station become more popular, you can easily find a fueling station near you.
Plus most alternative fuels include tax incentives and fuel-efficiency, which could help reduce your fleet's cost.
Six Alternative Fuels for Truck Owners
- Natural Gas
Let’s break down six alternative fuels and determine if switching from conventional petroleum gas is right for your business.
Biodiesel is a renewable fuel for diesel engines. It is made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease.
While its physical properties are like petroleum diesel, engines that use it offer less consumption, pollutant emissions, and reduces the dependency on petroleum.
Advantages of Using Biodiesel
Check your engine warranty to make sure your vehicle is combatable with the blend you choose. Check whether your vehicle is compatible with biodiesel.
Truck Models That Use Biodiesel*:
- Bucket Truck: 2011 Chevrolet C4500
- Cab Chassis: GMC Sierra 3500
- Pickup Truck: Ford Super Duty F-250, GMX Sierra 2500/3500
- Van: Ford Transit 150, GMC Savana 2500
Get a truck that uses biodiesel with Beacon Funding's equipment financing.
Natural gas is made of methane (CH4) and other hydrocarbons and makes up a quarter of the energy used in the USA, which includes, of course, commercial trucks.
There are two types of fuels made from natural gas. These fuels are used by trucks as either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Main reason to use natural gas? The average retail price of LNG has been much lower than gasoline since early 2021.
Plus, it offers two advantages over gasoline
- Maximum fuel capacity (more energy can be stored per tank)
- Extended driving range
Converting to Natural Gas Vehicles
To start using natural gas, you could convert your truck to a natural gas vehicle (NGV).
Converting your truck to a natural gas vehicle (NGV) could lower the cost of your fuel expense, as natural gas is generally less expensive than diesel or gasoline.
Natural gas engines offer clean-burning, colorless, non-corrosive, and odorless fuels. Switching from conventional diesel vehicles to natural gas vehicles (NGVs) could potentially lower levels of emissions.
Perks of Natural Gas Engines (NGVs)
Truck Models That Use Natural Gas
- Van: Chevrolet Express 2500/3500, GMC Savana 2500/3500
- Cab Chassis: Chevrolet Express 3500, Ford E-350/450
- Pickup Truck: Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500, Ford Super Duty F-250/350
- Commercial Truck: Freightliner 114SD, Freightliner Business class M2 112, Heil Environmental Roll-Off Hoist
Get a truck that uses natrual gas with Beacon Funding's equipment financing.
To use hydrogen as a renewable fuel, it must be separated from compounds into pure hydrogen (H2). It’s used in fuel cells to produce electricity and zero tailpipe emissions.
It is difficult to extract the energy from elements like water (H2O) and methane (CH4) and comes with a hefty price tag.
Advantages of Using Hydrogen
Truck Models That Use Hydrogen
- Commercial Truck: Vision Motor Corp. Tyrano
- Tractor: Vision Motor Corp. ZETT Zero Emission Terminal Tractor
- Consumer Prototypes: Toyota Mirai, VW Passat HyMotion
There are three kinds of electric vehicles: hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles. Each has its own set of fuel efficiencies and uses a varying degree of electricity.
All-electric vehicles have zero emissions while both hybrids have the option to charge using regenerative braking.
Advantages of Using Electricity
Considering building an electric fleet? Learn about it here.
Truck Models That Use Electricity
- Trailer: Balqon Mule M100
- Commercial Truck: Electric Vehicles International EVI-MD
- Pickup Truck: GGT Electric Scout 4 Door
- Tractor: Balqon XE-20
- Utility: ZeroTruck
Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials. Ethanol use is widespread, and more than 98% of gasoline in the U.S. contains some ethanol. Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) use an ethanol-gasoline cocktail.
FFVs can also just use regular gas, hence the flexibility.
Advantages of Using Ethanol
Truck Models That Use Ethanol
- Pickup Truck: Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado 3500
- Cab Chassis: Ford Super Duty F350, Ford E-350/450 Cutaway
- Van: Ford Transit 250/350, Chevrolet Express 2500
- Utility Truck: Ford E-350SD
Also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), propane has been used for decades to fuel light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles.
Although these vehicles come at a higher cost, propane gas can help breakeven on costs to help improve your ROI.
Advantages of Using Propane
Truck Models That Use Propane
- Cab Chassis: Chevrolet Express 3500/4500, Ford E-350/450
- Van: Ford E150/250/350, GMC Savana, Cutaway 4500
- Pickup Truck: Ford Super Duty F-250/350, Ford F-150
- Work Truck: Ford Super Duty F-650/750
- Commercial Truck: Greenkraft 106
Incentives for Alternative Fuels
Incentives are available for all alternative fuel types, whether statewide or nationwide.
These are important for commercial vehicle owners and managers because fuel expenses will be cheaper in the long run, you get a faster ROI than burning money with petroleum, and green fuels and vehicles are becoming more widespread every day. Here are some federal incentives to consider.
Consider these federal incentives:
Learn more at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/fed_summary.
Find an Alternative Fueling Station Near You
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Get Your Alternative Fueled Truck Sooner with Beacon Funding
Looking at the current trend and the accelerated growth efforts in place by the government, moving towards an alternatively fueled fleet could be the smartest move to grow your business. Consider taking the first step toward financing your next tow truck with affordable financing and build your fleet quickly.
Talk to a Beacon expert today and you could be approved for a green vehicle within 24 hours.
Hop on over to the Alternative Fuels Data Center for more information including fueling stations, laws and incentives that apply to your state, types of vehicles that are supported and more.
*Note: The vehicle examples do not include all types available for each alternative fuel type, including sedans, SUVS, school buses, police vehicles, passenger buses, dump trucks, etc.