As of October 1, 2016, the SWUTC concluded its 28 years of operation and is no longer an active center of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The archived SWUTC website remains available here.


SWUTC Research Project Description

Examining the Market Potential for Natural Gas Powered Trucks:  Barriers and Opportunities for Promoting Environmental Sustainability and Economic Prosperity

University: University of Texas at Austin

Principal Investigator:
Leigh Boske
LBJ School of Public Affairs
(512) 232-3005

Project Monitor:
Dr. Charles Cooke
Deputy Director of the Energy Institute
University of Texas at Austin
2304 Whitis Ave. Stop C2400
Austin, Texas 78713-8925
(512) 475-6099

Funding Source: USDOT

Total Project Cost: $35,000

Project Number: 600451-00078

Date Started: 9/1/13

Estimated Completion Date: 8/31/14

Project Summary

Project Abstract:
This research project will evaluate the adequacy of existing and proposed public policies and programs (such as grants, guaranteed loans, regulatory frameworks, and research and development activities) at all levels of government to promote the use of natural-gas-powered motor carrier vehicles.  It will also explore the roles played by truck manufacturers, motor carriers, universities, and entrepreneurs to address the need for fueling station infrastructure, vehicle availability, engine options, and standardization of technology.  Particular attention will be paid to “lessons learned” from pilot programs that have been undertaken in different jurisdictions.

Project Objectives:
Ascertain which combination of public policies and programs hold the greatest promise for developing natural-gas-powered motor vehicles.

Task Descriptions:

Task 1: Literature Review

Task 2: Examination of Government Policies & Programs

Task 3: Examination of Truck Manufacturers

Task 4: Examination of Required Infrastructure

Task 5: Conduct Case Studies of Pilot Programs

Task 6: Conclusion and Recommendations (Final Report)

Implementation of Research Outcomes:
This research, through a detailed analysis of natural gas trucks, fueling infrastructure, and case studies, reaches conclusions over the role natural gas vehicles (NGVs) should play in the future U.S. transportation system.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation:
Research findings from this study contribute to our understanding of available public policy tools that can be adopted to promote the future use of natural-gas-powered trucks.  And have important implications for research on energy efficiency and environmental policies to reduce negative externalities associated with conventional vehicles.

Web Links:
Project Final Report