Aftermarket

Micro Loans Finance Fuel-Saving Truck Upgrades

December 21, 2007

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Long-haul truck drivers can go green, reduce fuel costs and increase profits with an eco-friendly equipment upgrade from EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership and ACCION New York and New Jersey, a nonprofit provider of micro loans for the self-employed.

Through ACCION New York and New Jersey, drivers unable to borrow from traditional banks can obtain a loan to buy the SmartWay Upgrade Kit for their trucks. This technology package, which includes idle reduction technology, low rolling resistance tires, advanced aerodynamics and exhaust after treatment devices, will allow truckers to reduce emissions and spend less money on fuel, all while building quality credit that will help them save on future borrowing costs.
Upgrade packages are a significant investment for truck owners-operators, with costs ranging from $8,500 to more than $16,000. However, flexible-financing options from ACCION put the money-saving technology within reach. After factoring in loan payments, the upgrade can save drivers more than $250 monthly on fuel costs and increase their annual profits by over $3,000.
"Rising fuel costs mean that in order to make more money, truckers simply need to use less fuel," says Jennifer Spaziano, vice president of business development at ACCION. "ACCION has teamed up with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Transport Partnership to make the Upgrade Kit accessible to truckers, even if they encounter challenges finding financing at a bank."
"Our SmartWay partners are shrinking their environmental footprint while increasing their bottom line," said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. "This organization is helping to jumpstart efforts to cut diesel emissions in a way that embodies the public-private partnership theme that runs through many of EPA's successful voluntary programs, including the SmartWay Transport Partnership program."
Individuals interested in applying for a loan can call (866) 5ACCION or visit www.accionnewyork.org/smartway.
Owner-operators that upgrade their trucks can also become eligible for increased business from SmartWay's shipper partners. To learn more about saving money with a SmartWay Upgrade Kit, visit www.epa.gov/smartway .

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