Pennsylvania-based Penske Truck Leasing has announced it has won four grants totaling $1.1 million from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality through the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP).
The company says it plans to utilize the grants to subsidize the purchase of natural-gas-powered Freightliner Cascadia tractors equipped with Cummins Westport 12-liter engines.
Penske will likely deploy these trucks in its full-service truck leasing fleet in the Houston and Dallas markets.
‘The Houston and Dallas metropolitan regions have been designated as target air-quality improvement areas, and we're happy to do our part in facilitating TERP's vision,’ says Drew Cullen, Penske's senior vice president of fuels and facilities services. ‘These funds will allow our customers to employ natural gas vehicles at a more competitive cost.’
In addition, Penske Truck Leasing notes it is accepting a $400,000 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant for the company's Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Demonstration and Enhanced Driver Experience Project, to be administered by the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Penske will utilize the funds to further introduce alternative fuel vehicles to its customer base.
‘This is a unique program and the first of its kind for our company,’ explains Matt Krasney, Penske's director of alternative fuels. ‘This grant will allow fleets to experience alternatively fueled vehicles at a reduced cost, and it will provide Penske the ability to expand our work with customer fleets via comprehensive demonstrations and deep dive technical support.’
The company says it is beginning the process of identifying truck leasing and commercial truck rental customers nationally to participate.
‘We plan to target customers who currently don't have natural gas equipment, because they may have been deterred by the high vehicle cost and lack of information,’ continues Krasney. ‘Penske will walk them through the process, step-by-step.’