Microloans Finance Fuel-Saving Truck Upgrades

Leading Microlender ACCION partners with Environmental Protection Agency to

Benefit the Environment and Truckers' Bottom Lines

Dec 18, 2007, 00:00 ET from ACCION

    NEW YORK, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Long-haul truck drivers can go green,
 reduce fuel costs and increase profits with a state-of-the-art,
 eco-friendly equipment upgrade from EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership
 and ACCION New York and New Jersey, a nonprofit provider of microloans for
 the self-employed.
     Through ACCION New York and New Jersey, drivers unable to borrow from
 traditional banks can obtain a loan to buy the SmartWay Upgrade Kit for
 their trucks. This innovative technology package, which includes idle
 reduction technology, low rolling resistance tires, advanced aerodynamics,
 and exhaust after treatment devices, will allow truckers to reduce
 emissions and spend less money on fuel, all while building quality credit
 that will help them save on future borrowing costs.
     Upgrade packages are a significant investment for truck
 owners-operators, as costs range from $8,500 to over $16,000. However,
 flexible financing options from ACCION put the money-saving technology
 within reach. After factoring in loan payments, the upgrade can save
 drivers over $250 monthly on fuel costs and increase their annual profits
 by over $3,000.
     "Rising fuel costs mean that in order to make more money, truckers
 simply need to use less fuel," says Jennifer Spaziano, vice president of
 business development at ACCION. "ACCION has teamed up with U.S.
 Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Transport Partnership(SM) to
 make the Upgrade Kit accessible to truckers, even if they encounter
 challenges finding financing at a bank."
     "Our SmartWay partners are shrinking their environmental footprint
 while increasing their bottom line," said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional
 Administrator. "This organization is helping to jumpstart efforts to cut
 diesel emissions in a way that embodies the public-private partnership
 theme that runs through many of EPA's successful voluntary programs,
 including the SmartWay Transport Partnership program."
     As a nonprofit microfinance organization, ACCION specializes in working
 with self-employed individuals to build their businesses and credit
 histories. With over 16 years of lending experience, ACCION offers fast
 loan turnaround, personalized customer service, and loan products
 specialized to meet the needs to the owners of non-traditional businesses
 such as truck owners-operators. Individuals interested in applying for a
 loan can call 1-866-5ACCION or visit www.accionnewyork.org/smartway.
     Owner-operators that upgrade their trucks can also become eligible for
 increased business from SmartWay's shipper partners. To learn more about
 saving money with a SmartWay Upgrade Kit, visit www.epa.gov/smartway.
Contact: Laura Kozien Manager, Communications Projects (212) 387-0377 ext. 336 Lkozien@accionnewyork.org www.accionnewyork.org