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Is Alternative Fuel Worth It Yet

Trucks powered by alternative fuels dominated the 2017 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. Liquid propane and all-electric options abounded, demonstrating the dedication of many manufacturers to exploring long-term alternative fuel solutions.

Mitsubishi’s Fuso unveiled the eCanter, a 100 percent electric truck they expect to hit the North American market later this year. Founded in 2003, Fuso's goal is to create a financially viable line of hybrid and electric trucks. This, unfortunately, is where things get tricky.

Currently, the cost of converting a fleet to alternatively fueled trucks doesn’t make sense. Though companies like Fuso, Roush CleanTech, and Motiv continue to take strides in reducing the cost of alternative fuel, the overhead is still too high for many truck companies to want to bite.

Motiv's electric conversion option costs almost 150,000 dollars per truck, far from a fiscally prudent investment. Fuso’s Canter, the eco-hybrid predecessor to the nascent eCanter, has been rated as the most fuel-efficient light duty truck in the industry. Though that sort of investment can pay off over time, the start-up cost averages 55,000 dollars per truck.

With diesel prices hovering in the mid-two-dollar range and the current administration’s plans to scale back emissions and environmental regulations, there aren’t many incentives to convert to alternative fuel. Most experts project crude oil prices to raise steadily, though slowly, in the coming decade, keeping fuel costs manageable for trucking companies.

Unless Fuso’s eCanter and other similar technologies can prove themselves in the coming years, conventional fueling is here to stay. If you have questions about how fuel costs can affect your bottom line, contact us today.

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