Southern California Gas Co. Wednesday announced the launch of a program that allows qualified diesel fleet owners the opportunity to try out the latest in heavy-duty natural gas truck technology.

The “try before you buy” program provides fleet owners with the opportunity to haul loads with a new 12-Liter near-zero truck for up to two weeks. Operators will experience the similarities between natural gas trucks and diesel trucks with respect to power, drivability, fuel range and fuel availability, and the difference in fuel costs, according to the utility.

“More fleet owners have switched to natural gas trucks over the last few years, due in part to available incentive funding,” said Sharon Tomkins, vice president of customer solutions and strategy for SoCalGas. “However, some are unfamiliar with the technology and are hesitant to make the switch. The SoCalGas Truck Loan Program is the perfect way to put natural gas trucks to the test on routes driven every day.”

The utility’s account executives have assisted dozens of fleet owners with incentive funding applications to purchase more than 350 near-zero natural gas trucks and build five new CNG fueling stations since the beginning of the year. Replacing 350 diesel trucks with near-zero natural gas trucks is the equivalent of taking more than 20,000 passenger cars off the road, according to SoCalGas.

For more information on the Truck Loan Program or to inquire about upcoming funding programs, contact Wendell Peoples at WPeoples@semprautilities.com.

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