As federal, state, and local governments look for ways to decrease carbon emissions, new regulations on air quality, emissions, and fuel sources are changing the way many industries operate. Many fleets once powered by diesel or gasoline fuels will need to transition to a low- or zero-emissions alternative in the coming years. Navigating this process can be difficult for fleet managers and business owners who need to balance these new regulations against their uptime and profitability requirements. If you’re looking for clean energy solutions for your fleet, we recommend taking these three steps to prepare.
- Know the Regulations in Your Area
Depending on where your operation is located, regulations may vary. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees air quality and emissions standards on a national level. California has the ability to set regulations on a state level that frequently are more exacting than those set by the EPA. Often, these regulations spread to other states, especially neighboring states who may be home to organizations who also do business in California and are thus subject to the state’s regulations. You can view regulations from both the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) below.
Environmental Protection Agency
California Air Resources Board
- Understand Fuel Alternatives
When switching to a clean energy solution, there are multiple options including battery-electric and hydrogen fuel. Each of these options has pros and cons depending on the use case and your desired operational goals. Below, you’ll find a top-level summary of these alternative fueling options.
- Evaluate Your Operation’s Needs
Understanding your operation’s specific uptime, productivity, and profitability requirements will help in selecting a clean energy fuel source. For example, for heavy-duty trucks driving under 35,000 miles per year, a hydrogen combustion engine powertrain is more cost-effective. However, for trucks driving more than 35,000 miles per year, a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain is a better choice due to lower maintenance costs. Key factors to keep in mind when evaluating fuel options include:
- Startup Costs
- Service Costs
- Maintenance Time
- Operational Costs
- Operating Environment
- Operating Schedule
If emissions regulations have you considering a switch to clean energy solutions, following these three steps is a good start to determining how to transition your fleet’s fuel source.