By Silvio Marcacci, energyNow!
Alternative transportation fuels have been heralded as a way to shift heavy-duty trucks away from diesel or gasoline toward cleaner burning fuel, but the transition has remained a road too far for one main reason – lack of infrastructure. energyNOW! correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan traveled to California to learn about efforts to build a new network of alternative fuel filling stations – the Interstate Clean Transportation Corridor (ICTC).
The ICTC is a proposed network of liquefied natural gas (LNG) stations running across the Western United States, but building the ICTC has been a chicken-or-egg problem: long-haul trucking companies are hesitant to convert their fleets to alternative fuels because of a lack of filling stations, and building filling stations doesn’t seem like a good business decision without enough alternative-fueled vehicles to keep them profitable.
Even so, the ICTC has gained a foothold at one filling station in Ontario, California via an innovative approach. A private for-profit fuel company runs the station, UPS donated the land and uses the station to fuel its local delivery fleet, and other alternative fueled-fleets (like trash trucks) in the community are allowed to use the station to fill up their fleets.
Converting the nation’s big rigs from diesel to LNG could also reduce America’s oil dependence. An alternative fuel conversion could save 1.2 million barrels of oil a day by 2020, according to a report from Resources for the Future – about two-thirds the oil currently imported by the U.S. from the Persian Gulf.
The full video is available below: