Southern Alliance for Clean Energy to offer special financing for pre-2007 used trucks retrofitted with EPA SmartWay verified emissions and idle reduction technology
Rush Truck Centers to be exclusive vendors of verified retrofitted vehicles available in stock and sole provider of qualifying retrofits
NASHVILLE,TN, December 14, 2010 -The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $5 million to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) to help Southern truckers and small businesses to buy cleaner big rigs.
The money, awarded through the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program, will guarantee loans used to buy retrofitted used tractor-trailers at Rush Truck Centers throughout the South. These trucks will run substantially cleaner than other rigs of the same vintage, and the program is designed to make a difference in air quality along Southern roads.
"We are thrilled to receive this important award and excited to kick-off our 'Clean Trucks Make Cents' program," said Anne Blair, Clean Diesel and Bioenergy Program Manager for SACE. "The financing will play an important role in updating older, dirty diesel trucks with clean diesel technology, helping reduce emissions and improve air quality in the Southeast."
Rush Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ®: RUSHA and RUSHB), which operates the largest network of commercial vehicle dealerships in North America, will be the exclusive vendor for these greener used trucks, starting at its Nashville (Smyrna), TN, dealership, and expanding to other Southeast locations over the next few years. Rush Truck Centers and SACE will determine select used trucks to be retrofitted, and buyers will also have the option of choosing to retrofit a pre-2007 vehicle from other trucks in inventory at the dealer's locations.
"The Clean Trucks Make Cents program is another way Rush Truck Centers can help support the EPA, SmartWay, and SACE's efforts to reduce emissions and improve air quality for our customers, employees and their families and neighbors in the areas we operate," said W. M. "Rusty" Rush, President and CEO of Rush Enterprises, Inc. "We are happy to offer our customers a cleaner, greener, economical option for Class 8 truck buyers who might not be able to afford the increased cost of a new 2010 emissions-compliant truck."
The Clean Trucks Make Cents program is focused on the eight Southeastern states that make up EPA Region 4, where about 16 million people are subject to levels of air pollution that do not meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground-level ozone, the main component in smog. About 8 million are exposed to air quality that violates the federal standards for particulate matter.
"The program will help address trucks that operate through major transportation corridors in this region, reducing emissions and community exposure, particularly at delivery sites such as rail yards, grocery stores and truck distribution centers," SACE's Blair said.
The Clean Trucks Make Cents program will finance up to 100% of the purchase or lease of a pre-2007 tractor-trailer. It is designed to help drivers and small businesses who might not normally qualify for such a loan but who want to make the move to a cleaner, greener truck. Rush Truck Centers in Nashville (Smyrna), Tennessee as well as Tampa and Winter Garden, Florida will have retrofitted trucks in stock in early 2011. Buyers will also have the option of choosing from our more than 800 used trucks in inventory throughout the country to be retrofitted with the verified emissions and idle reduction systems.
Interested buyers can get complete program details by contacting Rush Truck Centers in Nashville, Winter Garden or Tampa, and search complete used truck inventory online at www.rushtruckcenters.com beginning in January. For more information on the program, visit www.cleanenergy.org. The program will run through December 2014.
About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE). SACE has been a leading voice for energy reform to protect the quality of life and treasured places in the Southeast for more than 20 years. Founded in 1985, SACE is the only regional organization primarily focused on developing clean energy solutions throughout the Southeast. SACE's programs and campaigns work to support clean energy water, air and safe communities in the region with a primary focus on states where the Alliance has offices and staff - Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
About Rush Enterprises, Inc.
Rush Enterprises, Inc. owns and operates the largest network of commercial vehicle dealerships in North America, representing truck and bus manufacturers including Peterbilt, International, Hino, Isuzu, Ford, Mitsubishi, UD, Blue Bird, IC, Diamond and Elkhart. The Company's dealerships are strategically located in high traffic areas on or near major highways in 14 states throughout the southern and western United States. These one-stop dealerships offer an integrated approach to meeting customer needs -- from sales of new and used vehicles and equipment to aftermarket parts, service and body shop operations plus a wide array of financial services, including financing, insurance, leasing and rental. For more information, please visit www.rushenterprises.com.
Rush Truck Centers also offers a wide range of new alternative fuel vehicles including Peterbilt and International hybrid and natural gas powered heavy- and medium-duty trucks, propane-powered Blue Bird school and Microbird commercial buses. Rush Truck Centers has installed diesel particulate filter cleaners in locations throughout the country and service technicians have been manufacturer trained and certified in maintenance and repair of new emissions and idle reduction technologies. More information on Rush Truck Centers' green initiatives can be found at www.rushgogreen.com.
About Environmental Protection Agency and SmartWay
In 2004, EPA launched SmartWay - an innovative brand that represents environmentally cleaner, more fuel efficient transportation options. In its simplest form, the SmartWay brand identifies products and services that reduce transportation-related emissions. However, the impact of the brand is much greater as the SmartWay brand signifies a partnership among government, business and consumers to protect the environment, reduce fuel consumption, and improve air quality for future generations. All of EPA SmartWay transportation programs result in significant, measurable air quality and/or greenhouse gas improvements while maintaining or improving current levels of other emissions and/or pollutants. For more information visit: http://www.epa.gov/smartway/basic-information/index.htm
Karen S. Konecny
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy