We just sent our special September issue on alternative fuels off to the printer. One of the things we didn't have much space to devote to was the topic of the government incentives that are available in some areas to help offset the increased up-front cost of vehicle powered by natural gas, electricity or hybrid powertrains.

Earlier this year, Software Advice, a trucking software review site, had a very useful blog post, a 2013 guide to government incentives for fuel-efficient commercial trucks. This includes alternative fuels as well as things such as idle reduction and SmartWay aero equipment.

What's a software blog doing writing on this subject? Here's how author Janna Finch explains it:

"When speaking to buyers evaluating transportation management and dispatch systems, a commonly requested application is a module to better manage fuel costs. But while fuel management technology can help control fuel spend for some organizations, it may simply be time to sunset older, inefficient trucks."

The blog explains the different types of incentives, including grants, rebates/vouchers, low-cost loans, tax credits and tax exemptions, and tips on how to apply.

For instance, you typically must meet qualifications such as:

  • Vehicle type
  • Fuel type
  • State or region of operation
  • Vehicle weight limit
  • Fleet size
  • Company revenue

"Let’s look at the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program as an example. Let’s say you want to add a new truck to your fleet. You operate out of Williamson County, Texas; 90% of the truck’s power is provided from compressed natural gas (CNG); the GVWR is 14,000 pounds and over 75% of miles will be accrued on Texas roads. Your truck is eligible for this incentive if it will replace an old truck in the same weight class, which you must destroy within 90 days of receiving funds."

The blog then provides an impressive listing of federal, regional and state incentives with the basic details plus contact information.

You can read the blog here.

About the author
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Editor and Associate Publisher

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology.

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