Replacing 3.5 million medium and heavy vehicles with natural gas vehicles by 2035 would keep the U.S. from importing about 1.2 million barrels of day, or more than is currently being imported from Saudi Arabia daily, according to a new report.
That would represent a huge jump, however, considering that there were only 41,000 compressed natural gas vehicles on the road in the U.S. in 2007, plus about 2,600 vehicles fueled by liquified natural gas, according to the “American Fuel: Developing Natural Gas for Heavy Vehicles” (PDF) report from the Center for American Progress.
U.S. business is increasingly moving in the direction of powering commercial vehicles with natural gas.
For instance, Republic Services, a waste and recycling hauler, is adding 226 compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquified natural gas (LNG) trucks to 10 facilities in its Western region. About 20 percent of the trucks it’s adding to its fleet in 2010 will run on natural gas.
Natural gas trucks produce about 25 percent fewer emissions than conventional ones, according to Center for American Progress.
Replacing or retrofitting cargo vehicles to run on natural gas is one of 10 ways for the freight sector to reduce its environmental impact.