Overcoming Funding Barriers to Meet Immediate Fleet Sustainability Goals

October 20, 2021

In partnership with: Trillium

Image: Trillium

The heavy‑duty freight transportation system in the United States is at a tipping point. To meet increasingly ambitious sustainability goals and quickly approaching regulatory deadlines, fleets are turning to the cleanest‑available heavy-duty vehicle technologies and fuels. But these clean vehicles can come with a significant price tag when compared to traditional diesel-powered vehicles. Fortunately, funding options are available nationwide to help fleets offset the cost of implementing and scaling these clean technologies. However, many of these funding options have a barrier in place that can prevent leading fleets from taking advantage of available funding and in turn block some of the cleanest vehicle technology currently available from being deployed at scale. 

Funding options are available nationwide to help fleets offset the cost of implementing and scaling these clean technologies.

There are numerous funding sources available for fleets that want to invest in cleaner technology including the Carl Moyer program in California, the nationwide VW Environmental Mitigation Trust and the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These grants and incentives help offset the cost of cleaner technologies by buying down the cost of new advanced vehicles. However, many of these funding options need to carefully consider some flexibility in their stipulations that require scrappage of old diesel engines to fund cleaner replacements. In the past, these scrappage requirements successfully eliminated older diesel vehicles and were integral to driving significant health benefits because it meant getting rid of the dirtiest vehicles in operation. Today, these outdated rules can be a barrier to accelerating turnover of vehicles to new cleaner, climate-friendly technologies.  

These grants & incentives help offset the cost of cleaner technologies by buying down the cost of new advanced vehicles.

Trillium Can Help Fleets Navigate Complex Funding Requirements 

For customers already investing in alternative fuels including near-zero emission natural gas vehicles, there are likely no vehicles left in their fleet that are pre-2010 model year when the latest round of U.S Environmental Protection Agency emission standards kicked in, leaving them with limited funding options to pursue. Fleets have enough to worry about besides sorting through possible funding sources and requirements. Trillium can help customers evaluate their fleet to identify the clean technologies that best fit their operations while navigating funding challenges to ensure that fleets are able to maximize available funding and move to the cleanest technology available today.  

“We recognize the challenge that fleet customers have in meeting sustainability goals when faced with the costs and availability of emerging technology and are dedicated to helping them find affordable solutions that also meet their operational requirements,” said Ashley Duplechien, general manager of client solutions for Trillium. 

Fleet-friendly, accessible, & technology-neutral funding sources are an integral part of the transition to cleaner technology.

From the largest fleets, to individual owner operators, funding and incentives are still needed to make the switch to cleaner technology in order to effectively reduce emissions, meet customer expectations, and comply with tightening regulations. While new cleaner technologies can have higher upfront costs, they help fleets save money in the long term by lowering fuel and maintenance costs and ensuring higher driver satisfaction. Fleet-friendly, accessible, and technology-neutral funding sources are an integral part of the transition to cleaner technology.  

“We must prioritize the immediate reduction of emissions if California intends to meet its near-term air quality and environmental goals. Natural gas vehicles powered by renewable natural gas are 90 percent cleaner than today’s diesel technology and commercially available now, yet fleets across California struggle to spend the limited incentive dollars to invest in this proven technology because of technicalities and requirements. It is imperative that we incentivize fleet owners and operators to make clean vehicle choices today by removing barriers in existing funding programs that impose technology partiality. Fleets operators, especially independent owners, must have the ability to choose sustainable technologies that meet their intensive operational needs while achieving the maximum amount of emission reductions for every dollar spent,” said Nicole Rice, president of the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition. 

NGVs powered by RNG are 90% cleaner than today’s diesel technology and commercially available now.

Trillium, a member of the Love’s Family of Companies, is a leading provider of renewable fuels and alternative fueling solutions, specializing in fuel supply, design, installation and operation for innovative energy solutions. Trillium’s alternative fuels offerings include compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen, and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure as well as low carbon energy supply from renewable natural gas, solar installation and on-site electricity generation. For more than 20 years, Trillium has exceeded customer expectations by delivering superior quality, reliability and dependability at more than 200 alternative fueling stations nationwide. Trillium specializes in designing, building and operating these facilities and provides 24/7 maintenance services for various types of professional fleets. Combined, Love’s Travel Stops and Trillium own nearly 70 public-access CNG facilities. To learn more, visit www.trilliumcng.com/.