April 8, 2011 9:00 AM, EDT

Obama Seeks More Funds for Clean-Fuel Fleets

President Barack Obama’s call last week for U.S. companies to add more alternative-fuel vehicles to their fleets did not provide more money for new trucks, but he is seeking funds to aid fleets’ purchases, Bloomberg reported Friday.

From offering buyer tax credits to automaker grants, the federal government has supported cleaner vehicles. But because corporate truck owners want more incentives, Obama asked lawmakers last week to fund programs from “incentives for natural gas fleets to new research on advanced biofuels, Bloomberg reported.

The president spoke at a UPS Inc. facility outside Washington last Friday following the monthly unemployment report.

Without government incentives, buying natural gas or other alternative-fuel vehicles does not make financial sense for most fleet owners, Richard Moskowitz, vice president and regulatory affairs counsel for American Trucking Associations, told Bloomberg.

“In the absence of incentives to overcome the cost differential with natural gas vehicles, the penetration may not be as widespread as the president envisioned,” Moskowitz said. “We really do need some sort of incentive to make it economically viable.”