Surrey City Council has passed an innovative new fuel initiative requiring all new service stations in the city provide at least one alternative fuel source, such as hydrogen, compressed natural gas (CNG), or electric vehicle recharging, in addition to conventional gasoline, diesel and propane energy. “We want to build the alternative fuel infrastructure of the future,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “It’s important for governments to set an example and lead the way in terms of advancing new technologies. By requiring service stations to provide an alternative energy source, Surrey will be encouraging and promoting new energy sources and reinforcing our position as a leader in this sector.”
The City will introduce what it claims is Canada’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) municipal waste collection truck for residential curb side service (see note below). Natural gas emits 20 to 30% fewer GHGs compared to gasoline and diesel fuels. In addition, natural gas does not pool when it is spilled and is therefore not as impactful from a contamination perspective.
Surrey is the only municipality in Canada to host two municipal hydrogen fuelling stations. Both of these stations are fully funded by the Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association.
In partnership with SFU’s School of Mechatronics (Surrey campus), the Engineering Department is co-sponsoring a postdoctoral research project, which was initiated in April 2011. It is focused on developing a tool that will help the City better assess the pros and cons of low carbon alternatives to gasoline and diesel municipal fleet vehicles. It will evaluate the City’s alternative fuel vehicles and compare full life-cycle costs (capital, operational, depreciated costs), environmental pros and cons, operational and logistics benefits, limitations, etc.
(Editor Note: a CNG-powered front loader refuse truck was introduced into service by Miller Waste Systems, headquartered in Markham, Ontario in October 2010.)
This article primarily compiled using information from a City of Surrey press release.