Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced efforts this week to help California fleets get more drivers behind the wheel of new 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). 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, according to SoCalGas.
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.
“SCAQMD is appreciative of SoCalGas’ efforts to help reduce harmful diesel emissions to help clean the air in the Southland,” said SCAQMD Executive Officer Wayne Nastri. “Through technology advancement programs, industry, partnerships, and incentive programs, we will continue to make substantial progress to reduce air pollution.”
“Our Clean Transportation team has spent years cultivating relationships with fleet owners and truck drivers,” said Lisa Alexander, vice president of customer solutions and communications at SoCalGas. “We are pleased to do our part to help bring more near-zero, heavy-duty trucks to California’s transportation sector. These natural gas trucks are available today and will immediately contribute to achieving the South Coast Air Basin’s air quality goals, giving our communities a healthier environment to live in.”
For the SCAQMD solicitation, SoCalGas customers submitted more than 150 applications, with many of these requests coming from fleets smaller than 10 trucks. Natural gas trucks cut smog-forming emissions by more than 90 percent compared to the cleanest heavy-duty diesel trucks.
When these near-zero natural gas trucks are fueled by renewable natural gas, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are reduced by 80 percent. Already, 60 percent of natural gas fleets in California are fueled with renewable natural gas and this number is expected to climb to about 90 percent 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 percent of California’s GHG emissions and more than 80 percent of the state’s NOx, or smog-forming, emissions. SoCalGas reports that 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.
While the current Prop 1B pool solicitation is now closed, there is another incentive pool available through the SCAQMD. The Carl Moyer incentive program is open to fleets that operate in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties from now until June 5. Additionally, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District recently established a new grant incentive option for its Truck Voucher Program that would replace existing heavy-duty trucks with the cleanest, ultra-low NOx 12-Liter truck available.