Peterbilt Pushes CNG Trucks in Texas

Last week, over-the-road truck manufacturer Peterbilt showed off its new line of natural-gas-powered trucks to a select group of its dealers and influential (read: wealthy) fleet-owners at their “Natural Gas Leadership” event in Texas. The show-going crowd was able to investigate a variety of converted semis and learn about CNG refueling strategies and return on investment (ROI) to establish what the economic benefits of switching to CNG might be in the face of rising diesel costs.

Bob Woodall, Peterbilt’s director of sales and marketing, called the event a great success while citing that the number of attendees at Peterbilt’s 2012 event was more than double their “usual” dealer event turnouts. Other event organizers were similarly upbeat. “We all agree that natural gas doesn’t fit everyone – but it does fit a majority of the trucking applications,” says Greg Young, director of business development for Cummins Westport Innovations (CWI) and a spokesperson at the event. “It’s not the right answer for everyone, but it does mitigate the risk of diesel volatility.”

In addition to promoting CNG options for its trucks, Peterbilt is hedging its bets by continuing to develop cleaner-burning diesel engines, as well as hybrid-electrid diesels like its (already in production) 386 Hybrid.

Woodall added that Peterbilt is investing heavily in natural gas-powered trucks, with plans to sell 2,000 CNG trucks by the end of this year. “Our parent company, Paccar, has invested $2 billion over the past two years in new products, facilities, and technology – and that includes alternative fuel technology,” he said. “That’s part of our overall effort to drive the cost of operations down for our customers.”

This meeting proves that companies Peterbilt (if not GM) seems to be going after the business that companies like Andersen Windows and AT&T are aggressively generating for CNG, leading to healthier bottom lines for the companies’ books and cleaner air for everyone else.

Good stuff, in other words. Good on Peterbilt.

Source: Peterbilt, via FleetOwner.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.