The Alternative Fuel Future is Now
It’s no secret that alternative fuel technology has been available to fleets for decades. Yet fueling with gasoline and diesel remains the norm for most mainstream fleets.
If those same fleet managers look back 10 years from now, it’s my prediction that they will be asking themselves what they were waiting for when it came to making the switch. There are four factors today that are hard to ignore when it comes to making a fueling decision for tomorrow.
Dependence on foreign oil.According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States produced 11.5 million more barrels of propane in 2014 than last year. So why, then, does our country remain dependent on imports to meet our energy demands? We are continuing to make strides towards importing fewer barrels of oil, but we have a long way to go.
Environmental initiatives.The EIA projects that worldwide energy consumption will grow by 56 percent between 2010 and 2040. As the world’s need for energy rises, so does the concern over what this means for our environment. Emissions standards that are being set now will be increasingly stringent tomorrow. As environmental concerns become more pressing, alternative fuels will become a necessity toward achieving company-wide directives for carbon emission reductions.
Product availability.As the needs of fleets grow and evolve, so does the need for more alternative fuel technology. Original equipment manufacturers, such as Ford and General Motors, are marketing a greater number of light- to heavy-duty models running on alt fuels — with more on the horizon. This competition is driving innovation for custom alt fuel solutions that will meet the needs of virtually every fleet.
Fuel and maintenance costs. The price per gallon for alternatives, like compressed natural gas and propane autogas, is 50 to 70 percent of the cost of gasoline and diesel. That means in a cost per mile comparison, alternative fuels win hands down. Add those substantial savings to the reduced maintenance costs of clean-operating fuels, and the bottom line benefits are clear. These cost benefits will become more important than ever as fleets work with lower budgets to accommodate ever-rising costs.
So here’s your fuel for thought: There’s no time like the present. Why wait 10 years and look back with regret? The time to consider the fuel you will use tomorrow is today.