Work Truck Show 2013
Going Green ‘Is the Right Thing to Do’
The term “Green Fleet” will become just “Fleet” over the next decade as sustainability becomes business as usual. “Sustainability and the green industry are here to stay,” says Lee Styslinger III, chairman and CEO of aerial lift specialist Altec.
The keynote speaker at the Green Truck Summit’s opening session yesterday, Styslinger noted there is now real momentum in green business. It’s not just the right thing to do, but it flows to the bottom line: “We view sustainability as a value proposition,” he said.
That theme was echoed throughout the conference. The commercial vehicle industry is moving ahead with cleaner vehicles, with operators making money out of them, said John Boesel, president and CEO of Calstart.
That’s indeed so, added Doyle Sumrall, senior director of business development with NTEA, the Work Truck Show organizer. More emphasis is being given now to using analysis, tools and models to understand the paybacks on clean vehicles, and to show the benefits that flow to the bottom line.
Bob Carrick, natural gas vocational sales manager for Freightliner Trucks, gave an example: an operator with a 10-year horizon buying a CNG truck could, if he drives long enough distances, see a payback in just one and a half to three years at a CNG price of $2 to 2.50 a gallon. “That is huge,” he said.
Boesel said that Hino Trucks’ introduction of its 195h diesel-electric hybrid is another example of benefits flowing to the bottom line. “Operators are seeing a two-year or less payback with the incentives available,” he said, adding that he expects it to achieve a similar payback in the future even without incentives.
Even electric trucks have workable economics: analysis by Calstart shows there is a sweet spot for electric vehicles, with a 5-year payback when driven 65 miles a day.
Growing Green, State by State
“We’re not looking to Washington” to underwrite growth of alternative-fueled commercial vehicles says said John Boesel, president and CEO of Calstart, the non-profit consortium dedicated to promoting high-tech, clean transportation, and co-host with NTEA of the Green Truck Summit. Instead, the group is focusing on the states.
There are different solutions for different regions, and Calstart is helping states plan incentive programs to spur growth in their own regions.
“We are making major efforts with the states,” Boesel said. In California, which has an existing $20 million clean truck and bus incentive fund, Calstart is encouraging extending the program until 2023. New York is close to launching a $20 million program, Illinois (especially Chicago) is looking at incentives for electric commercial vehicles, and Mississippi is looking at a tax credit for gaseous-fuel vehicles of 50% of the purchase price.
Calstart is pressing for incentives to be awarded as vouchers at the time of purchase instead of tax credits, simplifying the economic process and effectively reducing the purchase price of a vehicle when an operator buys it (see HVIP story below).
The Calstart Clean Fuel Pavilion centers on Booth 5459.