May 10–French energy major Total is betting on natural gas over diesel as a fuel source in the U.S. with an investment in California-based Clean Energy Fuels.
Total will pay $83.4 million to become Clean Energy Fuels’ largest shareholder with a 25 percent stake and with commitments to invest more in deploying thousands of additional natural gas-fueled, heavy-duty fueling trucks.
Total and Clean Energy plan to create a leasing program for natural gas fuel trucks to replace their diesel counterparts, which don’t burn fuel as efficiently for the environment.
While, in the past, natural gas trucks were more expensive, Total is pledging there will be no cost increase for the cleaner alternatives.
“Customers and regulators around the world are demanding cleaner transportation alternatives, particularly in the heavy-duty (truck) market,” said Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné. “Natural gas can become the fuel of choice. Total believes there is a strong development opportunity in the natural gas for transportation market, in particular in the United States, which benefits from unique, giant low-cost gas resources.”
Total is one of the world’s largest producers of natural gas.
Clean Energy Fuels is postponing its annual shareholders meeting from May 30 to June 8 to give investors more time to consider the deal.
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