Lowe’s has launched a dedicated fleet of natural gas-powered trucks at its regional distribution center in Mount Vernon, Texas. Lowe's dedicated fleet at Mount Vernon is among the first serving a major retail distribution center in North America to run solely on natural gas.
With the transition from a diesel-fueled fleet to trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), Lowe's expects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions nearly 20% and control fuel costs as it transports up to 68 truckloads each day to stores in Texas, La. and Okla.
"The transition to an NG-powered fleet was a natural step for Lowe's because of the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas," said Steve Palmer, Lowe's VP of transportation. "Given the amount of natural gas that's available domestically, broadly utilizing natural gas will give us an opportunity to better control our transportation fuel costs in the coming years. Our goal is to replace all of our diesel-powered dedicated fleets with natural gas trucks by the end of 2017."
Lowe's is working with its truckload carriers to convert their Lowe's-dedicated fleets. The company began using natural gas trucks last year at its distribution center in Kissimmee, Fla., and teamed with longtime carrier partner NFI to launch the natural gas dedicated fleet in Texas.
"We started on this journey approximately three years ago, and this was the perfect scenario to roll out our first natural gas fleet," said Ike Brown, NFI vice chairman and owner. "We look forward to continue to develop our sustainability initiatives, as a logistics provider and as a partner with Lowe's."
Lowe's worked with Clean Energy, the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America, to research the use of alternative fuels and accelerate the transition to natural gas. Clean Energy will support the NFI fleet by opening a natural gas station in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
"This is a great model for America — a collaboration between one of the country's largest shippers and a forward-looking fleet using a fuel that is not only economical but better for the air we breathe," said Jim Harger, chief marketing officer at Clean Energy.
Encouraging its carriers to convert their dedicat