Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced efforts to help California fleets get more drivers behind the wheel of near-zero emissions heavy-duty natural gas trucks. The effort was part of a $21 million Prop 1B incentive pool administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

The Prop 1B Program is intended to reduce diesel air pollution from goods movement operations and achieve the earliest possible health risk reduction in nearby communities. Fleet owners seeking to replace diesel trucks may be eligible for up to $100,000 towards the purchase of a new natural gas truck.

SoCalGas representatives provided assistance on 400 Prop 1B applications throughout its service territory. If all these applications are accepted and receive funding, SoCalGas customers will replace at least 400 diesel trucks with near-zero natural gas trucks.  Replacing 400 diesel trucks with near-zero natural gas trucks is the equivalent of taking more than 22,000 passenger cars off the road.

For the SCAQMD solicitation, SoCalGas customers submitted more than 150 applications, with many of these requests coming from fleets smaller than 10 trucks. These dependable, clean trucks cut smog-forming emissions by more than 90% compared to the cleanest heavy-duty diesel trucks on the road today. When these near-zero natural gas trucks are fueled by renewable natural gas, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are reduced by 80 percent. Already, 60% of natural gas fleets in California are fueled with renewable natural gas and this number is expected to climb to about 90% by the end of this year.

The SCAQMD solicitation is one of many incentive programs SoCalGas customers used in 2017. More than 225 applications were submitted to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and San Diego Air Pollution Control District from SoCalGas customers. This demand far exceeded the $14 million in available incentive funding. 

The transportation sector is responsible for about 40% of California's GHG emissions and more than 80% of the state's NOx, or smog-forming, emissions. Making the switch from diesel to near-zero natural gas trucks is vital to achieving the state's GHG reduction goals and cleaning the air around California's transportation corridors.