Oil man turned natural gas evangelist and investor T. Boone Pickens said the reason is simple: money.
"I mean, you are talking about saving a dollar and a half, two dollars a gallon and that's unheard of," said Pickens, who, as an investor in Clean Energy, has a stake in the success of natural gas.
"If I'm trucking against you and my fuel bill is $2 a gallon cheaper than yours, I can tell you, you've got a problem. I will take a lot of your business away from you," Pickens told CNN.
The 11.9-liter engine is a game changer, industry officials say, because it occupies a "sweet spot" in the market. The bulk of long-haul trucks use 11.9-liter engines. The engine will open up the world of long-distance natural gas trucking.
At today's prices, the added cost of an LNG-powered truck can be recaptured in a year or two, industry officials say.
Ironically, one of the few voices of trepidation at the ATA natural gas summit was from an environmentalist.
"It's a mistake to rush headlong into this," said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Krupp said that despite diesel's dirty image, diesel technology has grown much cleaner in the past decade. Today's diesel and natural gas engines emit similar amounts of sulfur, nitrogen and particulates, he said.
The problem with LNG, Krupp told the trucking summit, is not the gas that is burned, but the gas that escapes as it is transported through the supply chain from the well to the fuel tank. The un-burned, leaked gas is 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide -- a greenhouse gas -- making it more damaging to the environment, Krupp said.
For Krupp, the issue comes down to a simple calculation.