Ky. City Spends $3.9M on CNG Refuse Trucks

August 18, 2014

Photo via City of Lexington
Photo via City of Lexington

The City of Lexington, Ky., took delivery of 11 new compressed natural gas (CNG) refuse trucks on Aug. 12. Each truck cost $353,000, which city officials say is similar to the cost of a diesel truck.

The city purchased the vehicles as part of its normal vehicle replacement schedule. Two more trucks are expected to arrive in December, and city officials have budgeted an additional $2.9 million to purchase 10-12 additional CNG trucks over the next 12 months.

City staffers expect each CNG truck will save approximately $6,500 in fuel costs and preventive maintenance each year. CNG costs $1.50 to $2 below the cost of diesel per gallon, and the savings on maintenance can be achieved by reducing preventive maintenance, according to a city release.

The trucks will fuel at a dedicated fueling unit at Waste Management headquarters supplied by Clean Energy. This fueling area is not open to the general public, but the city is making plans to open a public access CNG fueling station with the help of a $1.25 million federal grant.


  1. 1. Steve Hansen [ August 18, 2014 @ 11:58AM ]

    I suggest reading the recent story from The Houston Chronicle - “Economics of natural gas don’t always add up for fleets” 6/12/14.

    As one fleet manager stated about their experience with natural gas: “We’re not saving any money. I’m glad to hear we’re not the only one struggling with fuel mileage.”

  2. 2. Greg Friend [ August 21, 2014 @ 10:40AM ]

    You might want to read the article you posted...
    Natural Gas as a transportation fuel will always save money over the long haul (pun intended); for some fleets the ROI is shorter than it is for others. Yes there are drawbacks to NG that need to be overcome, as there always is with progressive new technologies, but the end-result is still a less expensive fuel, domestically produced, that produces far fewer harmful emissions than diesel or gasoline.

  3. 3. Von Trimble [ August 22, 2014 @ 01:58PM ]

    I had to weigh in on this subject with some well intentioned responses regarding the CNG purchases. First line of business seems to be the units purchased. I think there is a $30K to $50K PREMIUM price on the trucks to retire before we start down this road to savings. Next, there is the cost of installation of the CNG fuel site itself. The miss giving that this is FOB via a Grant..........................not sure................but WE pay FED. TAXES from the state we live in
    to fund any number of things. To get the FEELING that the money for the site is ALMOST FREE; quite short sighted.
    When the site if built, you will have ADDED costs for labor and systems oversight. Did anyone consider that when the time for maintenance, or a complete stoppage of operation will demand a BACKUP sourcing for fueling needs? OK,
    getting to the heart of the operation side, the units will not have the RANGE in the heat of the (Summers) ? Fuel mileage WILL slip since the fuel does not have "equivalent energy" of diesel fuel and therefor....................require more
    CNG per mile. One last item..................... CNG is NOT A PROGRESSIVE NEW TECHNOLOGY ! in my humble opinion, the leaders will progress to HYBRID ELECTRIC chassis units and move into FULL ELECTRICS as they become available in the market place. Lesser emissions will be had automatically by replacement budgets keyed
    to sooner replacement. Many thoughts in this area, mine is surely just one of them.
    Take care.


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