After touring a truck factory in North Carolina last week, President Barack Obama outlined to plant workers his proposal for a new federal tax credit that would encourage carriers to add to their fleets vehicles powered by natural gas or electricity.
Noting that the battle against rising fuel costs will not be won easily, Obama asserted that the increased use of alternative fuels is necessary to a long-term solution, according to a report by Transport Topics. The President had toured the Daimler Trucks North America’s Freightliner facility earlier on Wednesday, March 7, and told factory workers that his proposal would include tax credits that would equal half of the added cost of purchasing commercial vehicles powered by alternative fuels.
Currently, the costs of purchasing a vehicle that runs on compressed natural gas are substantial, roughly $40,000 more than a similar truck powered by diesel fuel. And while the cost of compressed natural gas is less than that of diesel fuel, the cost difference is narrow enough that fleet owners wouldn’t realize a benefit in a reasonable time.
We applaud the President’s proposal, and as with passenger vehicles in recent years, believe that federal tax credits might give alternative fuel truck sales the jolt they need to realize a significant place in the market.