Having experienced alternative fuels myself for years, it is amazing how many different ways clean transportation has branched off compared to back when I got in my first CNG Freightliner Cascadia daycab. With most of the spotlight now going to all-electric trucks and charging technology, fuel cell trucks have also been able to make some waves as well. The big news from Daimler was the launch of their eCascadia platform, which thrust electric truck technology back into the mainstream and provided a feasible, real-world solution to the electric truck hype that had been built up in the shadows by others previously. I will be attending the ACT (Alternative Clean Transportation) Expo 2019 in Long Beach, CA next week and I am excited to see what new clean transportation technology will be on hand, in addition to Freightliner’s own eCascadia truck!
As national diesel fuel averages have climbed higher and higher in recent weeks, with prices here in CA breaching the $4.00 mark in some places, the viability of alternative fuels in heavy-duty trucking is on the forefront of minds throughout the trucking industry, with no relief in sight to escalating fuel costs. Knowing from past experience that my average price for CNG was well below the $2.00-$2.25 mark for retail fuel at the pump and that a fixed negotiated price of $2.00 per DGE (diesel gallon equivalent) would not be hard to lock in, the thought of how acquiring another alternative fuel truck and how it would benefit my operation once again starts to whittle away at back of my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I happen to love my 8-9 MPG Freightliner New Cascadia, as it has accomplished fuel economy standards for what I haul well above what I thought a local truck could do in my application.
As technology advances and local/regional operations like that of my own evolve out of their complete dependence on diesel as a fuel due to decreased length of haul, growing alternative fuel infrastructures, and lucrative incentives for clean truck technology, I always look forward to seeing what lies in store at ACT Expo each year for the latest in alternative fuel transportation. Although a lot of focus in my past experience at this show trended towards medium and light duty trucks, I have a sneaking suspicion that some waves are going to be made this year in the heavy-duty portion of this show as well. As it seems there is no hope for diminishing pump prices at the diesel pumps, keep an eye out for what’s to come from alternative fuels and if you get a chance, register and come visit me at ACT Expo 2019 next week to catch a glimpse for yourself as well! If you are not able to attend, be sure to catch my follow-up here on Team Run Smart after the event, where I'll highlight some of the cool new tech I witness while I am there!