YRC Freight, a subsidiary of YRC Worldwide Inc. today announced that it has completed an agreement with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to purchase four liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks to operate in Southern California. Select fleets of vehicles from Sears delivery vans to Taxicabs to a Georgia Police Department have already been outfitted to run on LNG as part of various pilot programs.
I spoke with a freight hauler in Minnesota who was filling up his rig with LNG just a few months ago. I asked if he thought natural gas would take off as an automotive fuel. He responded, "I hope so! I get better takeoff and my engine runs cleaner...more efficient." YRC also has high hopes for LNG.
"We are eager to test natural gas trucks in the Southern California area and see how they perform within our network," said Jeff Rogers, president of YRC Freight. "The LNG project will build on our sustainability initiatives, including our ongoing network optimization that is engineered to provide the highest quality customer service in the most efficient manner possible. My thanks to the Clean Energy team for bringing their industry expertise to the table and helping to make this happen."
Liquefied natural gas is catching on in some industry circles, and so far, reports are that LNG increases power, burns more cleanly than conventional fuels and is generally better for engine parts. As more of these pilot programs are initiated, infrastructure will follow positive results. Experts believe, given the choice, American motorists would embrace the cleaner, less expensive fuel, but for the average consumer, infrastructure will have to lead, not follow. Pilot programs like this will help LNG prove if it can measure up to the hype.