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Emissions concerns driving some CNG truck sales
Tom Quimby | April 13, 2016

Low diesel prices are not stopping every company from going with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) trucks.

In keeping with its mission to preserve and protect the environment, Emerald Brand products in New York reports that it will be leasing CNG trucks from Penske.

The 26-foot CNG Freightliner M2-112 box trucks feature Cummins’ popular Westport ISL-G 9L engine. The trucks will be delivering Emerald’s tree-free paper products, like napkins, plates and tissues, along with biobased plastic cups and containers made from compostable plant starch.

“We are always striving to discover new ways to help the environment and reduce our footprint, and the conversion to CNG fueled trucks was the next sustainable step for our company to help deliver our products to clients in the most environmentally friendly way possible,” says Emerald Brand Managing Director, Jaclyn McDuffey. “Penske Truck Leasing has been a great partner by offering options and guidance in this transition to greener vehicles.”

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Penske Truck Leasing’s director of fuel strategy, Matt Krasney, says that fuel prices aren’t always the prevailing factor when it come to choosing a truck.

“There are many levers that go into the decision to convert from diesel fuel to alternatives such as natural gas.  One lever is economics, and low diesel prices have certainly had an impact; however, there are many other levers that remain strong,” Krasney explains.

“These levers include: sustainability, which is the strongest motivator for many organizations; the domestic and abundant supply of natural gas, which creates a stable fuel price; the clean and quiet operation of the natural gas vehicle, which is appealing in residential areas; the substitution of the diesel particulate filter and diesel oxidation catalyst with a three-way catalyst, which simplifies the after-treatment system and eliminates the need for regeneration (especially important in low-speed, high idle, and low-operating temperature environments).”

The emissions benefits realized from using CNG proved to be a big motivator for Emerald.

“The use of CNG fueled trucks reduces the amount of harmful gas emissions into the atmosphere, burns more efficiently, and emits significantly less carbon than traditional fossil fuels,” reads a press release issued from Emerald.

“CNG is domestically produced from natural gas and renewable biogas. The U.S. has a vast supply of natural gas reserves whereas diesel fuel is manufactured using oil, an already limited resource, of which nearly half is imported into the U.S. Diesel engine emissions are known to have health risks and have the potential to be carcinogenic to humans.”

Penske has 25 years of experience with natural gas vehicles, according to Krasney. Their fleet contains several hundred Cummins Westport natural gas engines.

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Tom Quimby is the associate editor for Hard Working Trucks. Reach him at tomquimby@randallreilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @tom_quimby.