Surface Transportation Law Allows Heavier Natural Gas Trucks
Trucks fueled by compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas may now be 2,000 pounds heavier than diesels, making up for some of the loss of payload suffered by the clean fuel vehicles. Passage of the five-year Fixing America’s Surface Transportation law will help advance natural gas as a transportation fuel, says NGVAmerica.
“The FAST Act will help put more natural gas vehicles on American roads,” association president Matt Godlewski said in a release.
“This legislation will assist fleets and consumers transition to cleaner, low-cost, domestic natural gas to power their vehicles,” he said.
Up to 82,000 Pounds Approved
Provisions contained in the FAST Act include a weight exemption that allows heavy-duty natural gas trucks to exceed the federal weight limits up to 82,000 pounds to compensate for the additional weight of natural gas fuel systems and tanks, NGVAmerica notes.
“This commonsense provision would level the playing field for natural gas trucks that are currently unable to haul the same amount of freight as diesel-powered trucks,” the association says.
Further, the new FAST law “creates regulatory parity for NGVs.” It allows automakers to more accurately calculate fuel economy of bi-fuel NGVs, by eliminating the assumption that bi-fuel CNG-gasoline vehicles operate half of the time on gasoline.
‘Fuel Diversity in the American Economy’
Additionally, NGVAmerica reports, the FAST Act includes provisions that
- expand CMAQ, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program to, among other things, clarify that port facilities qualify for funding;
- create alternative fuel infrastructure corridors, including natural gas fueling stations along major national highways; and
- extend a state’s ability to provide HOV lane access for NGVs and other dedicated alternative fuel vehicles until 2025.
“NGVAmerica commends Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and other Congressional leaders for including key NGV provisions in the bipartisan FAST Act,” said Godlewski.
“We have more work to do to further grow the market for natural gas vehicles, and Congress has sent a strong message today in support of more fuel diversity in the American economy.”
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Source: NGVAmerica with Fleets & Fuels follow-up