The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today said it has partnered with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make loans available for small trucking companies to purchase equipment that helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
The loans would finance SmartWay Upgrade Kits, which include idle-reduction devices, low rolling resistance tires, aerodynamic equipment, and exhaust after-treatment devices.
Such equipment could boost fuel efficiency by 15% and save over $8,000 in fuel costs annually while reducing emissions, EPA said.
The loan initiative uses SBA Express Loans and partners with Bank of America, Business Loan Express, Superior Financial Group and other SBA lenders.
Participating lenders will provide quick approval and affordable monthly payments for borrowing from $5,000 to $25,000 with no collateral, EPA said.
Over the last two years, EPA has worked with the states of Arkansas, Minnesota and Oregon to create some small, state loan programs. These programs have limited capital available and loans were only available to truckers licensed in the participating state. This new national SmartWay loan program now provides unlimited capital to any trucker or small company in the U.S. via loans available through SBA.
According to Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, the EPA/SBA partnership offers a rare financing component to EPA’s Smartway program.
“Clearly the end game for SmartWay is to expand the interest of this program to a point where it becomes automatic for fleets to think about [fuel savings and emissions] in their equipment management program,” Schaeffer said. “This is a big step; the government won’t be in the business of financing Smartway improvements for fleets across America—it’s an educational outreach to demonstrate that you can save money and save fuel and reduce air pollution.”
For more information, go to www.epa.gov/smartway/financing.htm
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