“We do not need incentives for natural gas technology to drive adoption,” Bill Larkin, CFO of Westport Innovations, a Vancouver-based developer of technology that allows truck and bus engines to run on natural gas, told Reuters in an interview:
“It actually hurts the investment in this technology because the U.S. government has been dangling this carrot … and so investments are delayed.”
While billions of tax payer money are spent on electrification programs with dubious prospects (and a few certain duds,) the U.S. sits on a mountain of natural gas. Prices of natural gas are coming off decade lows as production soars from U.S. shale fields.
Larkin is glad that the U.S. Senate’s rejected proposed tax incentives for long-haul trucks and commercial vehicles to switch to CNG. At about $1.33 per gallon, the cost of CNG is around half of gasoline, more than enough of an incentive to make the relatively low-tech switch. Natural gas produces lower emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and greenhouse gases than gasoline or diesel.