Examining the market potential for natural-gas-powered trucks : barriers and opportunities for promoting environmental sustainability and economic prosperity
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Over the past decade, public concerns have grown over America's energy use and production. Pushes towards more environmentally friendly and sustainable sources of energy have moved out of fringe politics and into mainstream political discourse. Advances in drilling technology and increased exploration of shale gas plays have made natural gas more available and accessible. The abundance of natural gas has led to its growing role in the U.S. electric production and has provided the United States with an opportunity to become a net exporter of energy in the near future. The availability of natural gas, coupled with uncertainty in the liquid petroleum market, has prompted stakeholders to search out additional uses for this low-cost energy source. The result has been a large-scale effort to encourage the use of natural gas-based fuel within the trucking industry. Commercial long-haul trucks and truck fleets are a v prime target of these efforts. The number of natural gas fueling stations around the country is increasing, and there are growing investments in new technologies and government incentives to retrofit and upgrade the nation's trucking fleet, making the logistics of a large-scale switch from a liquid petroleum-based fuel to natural gas much less complicated. Through a detailed analysis of natural gas trucks, fueling infrastructure, and case studies this report seeks to reach conclusions over the role natural gas vehicles (NGVs) should play in the future U.S. transportation system. Chapter 1 provides a brief introduction to natural gas. Chapter 2 discusses the current state of natural gas in the United States. Chapter 3 provides an overview of natural gas vehicle and infrastructure technology. Chapter 4 discusses marketplace NGV adoption factors. Chapter 5 deals with benefits of adoption and policy options for expansion of NGVs. Chapter 6 provides an overview of current federal, state and local policies and incentives. Chapter 7 discusses barriers and opportunities for NGV adoption. The report synthesizes and concludes that natural gas trucking offers the U.S. a cheaper alternative to liquid petroleum while promoting environmental sustainability and economic prosperity.
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