The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has partnered with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide loans to small trucking companies to buy SmartWay Upgrade Kits, which include idle-reduction devices, low rolling resistance tires, aerodynamic equipment, and exhaust aftertreatment devices.

EPA says the equipment could boost fuel efficiency by 15% and save over $8,000 in fuel costs annually while reducing emissions.

Participating lenders will provide quick approval and affordable monthly payments for borrowing between $5,000 and $25,000 with no collateral.

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.”