All the talk about natural gas has focused on how it will change the utility industry and how it will allow the U.S. to become energy independent. One area that will be impacted by natural gas sooner and bigger than those two is the trucking industry.
Here are the facts.
The IEA (International Energy Agency) has stated. "Natural gas will increase its share of road transport fuels to 2.5% in 2018 from 1.4% in 2010."
That may not sound like much, but the implications are enormous.
There are currently about eight million heavy and medium-weight trucks burning three million barrels of oil a day, according to The New York Times.
That's nearly 15% of total national daily consumption and 75% of the oil imported from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Depending on local market conditions, switching to natural gas from diesel would save the nation's trucking industry $1.65 billion annually in fuel costs alone.
What's more, using natural gas not only reduces operating costs for vehicles, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions--up to 30% in light-duty vehicles and 23% in medium to heavy-duty vehicles.
The U.S. government currently offers a tax incentive of 50 cents per gallon for using natural gas.
Even better, a bill currently under consideration in Congress, HR 1380, dubbed the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (NATGAS) would offer tax credits ranging from $7,500 to $64,000, depending on the size of the truck, for the purchase of new vehicles that run on natural gas.
Another company that will benefit from this transformation is
Here is how you can benefit from this Revolution-
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE) just completed what it calls "America's Natural Gas Highway" -- 70 new LNG truck fuel stations to support long-haul movement along major interstate corridors throughout the U.S.
CLNE is also the largest provider of CNG in North America. This natural gas stock to buy currently fuels over 25,000 vehicles daily at 273 locations in the U.S. and Canada.
CLNE plans to build 70 to 80 additional LNG fuel stations adjacent to long-haul trucking routes in North America.
Many of these stations are located at existing Pilot-Flying J truck stops. Pilot is the nation's largest truck-stop operator with more than 550 retail properties in 47 states.
Westport Innovations(Nasdaq: WPRT).
WPRT owns hundreds of patents with the most innovative technology and designs for the conversion of diesel engines to natural gas. It designs natural gas-burning engines as well as systems and components for both the manufacturing and direct-to-consumer sectors.
A collaboration with Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), Cummins-Westport, just released theISX12 G, a heavy duty natural gas engine.
The new engine is expected to grab the attention of retail heavyweights like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) that have been pressing trucking companies for transportation of their goods by natural gas vehicles.
Right now, hundreds of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid natural gas (NYSEMKT:LNG) filling stations are being built across the U.S. to help support the growing number of natural-gas-powered vehicles.
If enough natural gas filling stations get built, sales of heavy-duty natural gas vehicles could increase to 275,000 in 2035, fully 34% of new vehicle sales, from 860 in 2010, the EIA said last year.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.