Natural gas or diesel, that is the question. At least among many truck owners and fleet managers it is. Once upon a time this question wouldn’t have even existed. However, with the advancement in natural fuel engine technology, you now have a choice. Nevertheless, with choices comes factors that can impact your decision too. Therefore, we’ve compiled a few.
Firstly, diesel is more expensive than natural gas. While you can’t necessarily compare the two gallon-for-gallon, diesel can cost an extra $1.60 “per gallon” to produce the same amount as natural fuel. If you drive a lot, this can add up quickly.
Moreover, you will go a longer distance each time you fill-up with diesel. Whereas, natural fuel is less resourceful, and larger tanks are needed. However, even with the larger tanks, you will still need to refuel often. If you are driving through states with few natural gas stops, this could present a problem. In addition to this, the larger tanks take up more space and weigh more.
LNG vs. CNG
Conversely, CNG, or compressed natural gas as it’s called is easier to locate. Still, it is heavier than liquefied natural gas, or LNG for short. With LNG, the tanks aren’t as big, but the fuel does cost more. However, it still cost less than diesel. Lastly, it should be noted that LNG must be kept in cryogenic form as well.
Undoubtedly, you will pay a lot more for a truck that uses natural fuel. According to industry experts, natural gas truck prices are projected to be a third higher than diesel trucks. That could be the deciding factor in whether you want to buy a $50,000 natural fuel truck, or a diesel-powered rig for $150,000.
Without a doubt, natural gas is the more environmentally friendly option. Not only does it run quieter than diesel, but it runs cleaner, too.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. However, considering future costs, fuel accessibility, and eco-friendly concerns can greatly impact your decision as well.