“Ryder offers both compressed natural gas [CNG] and liquefied natural gas [LNG] heavy-duty vehicles for lease,” says Ryder’s Vice President of Supply Management and Global Fuel Products Scott Perry. “We have seen continued interest in utilizing CNG and LNG as a replacement for diesel technology, but the level of interest is suppressed compared to two years ago due to low diesel prices.”
“The companies who have integrated natural gas as a commercial vehicle fuel into their corporate sustainability plan are remaining true to their long-term objectives and continuing to deploy these advanced fuel vehicles,” Perry continues. “The companies who were utilizing it as a financial savings tool versus historically high diesel pricing have pulled back the reigns to see how long crude pricing is going to remain suppressed. While natural gas is still technically a fossil fuel, it is a great strategy for companies who are looking to employ an energy source that has less environmental impact than traditional fuels like coal and oil.”
Ryder believes that LNG and CNG are also great tools for meeting the low carbon fuel standard that is evolving in some states. Incorporate the use of renewable LNG (bio-methane) and you really have a great mechanism for meeting low carbon fuel standards (LCFS). The trade-offs are that LNG fueling infrastructure is not as mature as traditional diesel, or even compared to CNG fueling—which drives complexity for operators considering LNG as their primary fuel source. Because LNG is a cryogenic fuel source it also requires additional Personal Protective Equipment be utilized in the fueling process—but with the right controls in place it can be just as safe as diesel.
“We continue to be strong supporters of natural gas as a commercial vehicle fuel—both LNG and CNG,” Perry adds. “We are in the business of providing solutions for our customers and whether it is through utilizing the latest diesel technology, or through advanced fuels such as LNG or CNG, we want to be the go-to source for those solutions.”