Natural Gas Trucks vs Diesel Trucks

Freightliner Trucks
Natural Gas Trucks
Freightliner Silver Cascadia
Many fleet managers and owner/operators are weighing their options when it comes to purchasing natural gas trucks vs diesel trucks.

Which is better for business?

Many fleet managers and owner/operators are weighing their options when it comes to purchasing natural gas trucks vs diesel trucks. The million-dollar question is “When it comes to diesel or natural gas trucks, which is best for my bottom line?” If fleet managers and owner/operators want to make an informed decision about their business, it is crucial to understand the differences between diesel and natural gas trucks.

There are two types of natural gas fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. CNG is the cheaper of the two fuels and is much more readily available today. However, CNG requires more space and increased weight than LNG does. While LNG is much cheaper than diesel, it is not as inexpensive as CNG. However, you can fit a lot more LNG fuel in a smaller space than CNG, which means less weight.

The engines that Freightliner uses today – the Cummins Westport ISL G and ISX12 G – are great for regional haul tractor applications, as well as some vocational operations such as refuse, snow plow, street sweeper, dump, and more. These engines run both quieter and cleaner than their diesel counterparts. They emit up to 20% lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are up to 10 db quieter than comparative diesel engines.

Companies that run natural gas trucks can save big when it comes to fuel costs due cost of natural gas fuel vs. the cost of diesel. That is the number one value proposition of purchasing natural gas trucks. Unlike diesel, the cost of natural gas fuel has stayed low – about $1.50 -$2.00 per diesel gallon equivalent cheaper than diesel – and relatively stable. This is especially beneficial for fleets that run a lot of miles (80,000-120,000 miles per year is the sweet spot).

While there is increasing interest natural gas truck options, there have also been innovations to improve the efficiency of diesel trucks. For example, Freightliner’s Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and BlueTec® Emissions Technology are systems that were put in place to ensure that heavy-duty trucks not only meet, but exceed EPA standards. At the same time, these systems allow diesel trucks to maintain an excellent fuel economy. For example, SCR technology is known for:

When it comes to natural gas trucks vs diesel trucks, both have their advantages and disadvantages from a cost standpoint. To decide what is best for your business, work with a dealership that can walk you through a cost/benefit analysis. Freightliner Trucks prides itself on providing the best of both options. For more information on our natural gas truck solutions, or to learn how Freightliner can help you improve the efficiency of your diesel truck, contact us.