Truckers are ordering new equipment in record numbers, but are not turning to natural-gas-fueled trucks as fast as had been projected two years ago, according to a new report from ACT Research.
The “Natural Gas Quarterly” attributes the rapidly declining cost of diesel with making the return on investment for adoption of natural gas less lucrative. Original projections were that 2015 would see a 5% penetration of NG heavy-duty trucks, but based on 2014 actual results and the sharp drop in oil prices starting in Q4’14, the report calls that optimistic.
“With the price differential between diesel and natural gas narrowing, the ROI to convert from diesel to natural gas is moving in the wrong direction: payback periods are lengthening,” said Ken Vieth, ACT’s Sr. Partner and General Manager. Vieth added that ACT has developed an NG equipment payback index as a quick reference tool for fleets evaluating a switch from diesel to natural gas.
The “Natural Gas Quarterly” provides information on the current status of multiple factors that impact a decision to adopt natural gas. Included is a “dashboard gauge” that looks at the fuel price spread, public heavy duty NG fueling infrastructure, NG equipment, and the quantity of NG heavy-duty truck sales.