The Government of Quebec has introduced measures to support and promote the use of natural gas for the freight transportation industry and heavy vehicles. The move has been welcomed by the Canadian Natural Gas vehicle Association (CNGVA), gas supplier Gaz Métro, Robert Transport and others.
The government will subsidize 30% of the additional cost, up to a maximum of $75,000, for the purchase of vehicles running on natural gas as a source of fuel–in compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) form.
CNGVA president Alicia Milner says the Quebec incentive program is a timely stimulus measure that encourages private sector spending and increases the fleet of lower emission natural gas vehicles in Canada. “It is encouraging to see both Quebec and British Columbia tackling the growing problem of heavy diesel truck emissions. Risk sharing with fleets where the province covers part of the incremental cost for heavy natural gas trucks is a sensible approach at this early stage of market development and it helps to ensure that Canadian fleets don’t fall behind their American counterparts in the integrated North American market for goods movement,” she says.
The transportation sector is responsible for 42.5% of all greenhouse gases emissions (GHGs) in Quebec, making it a priority area for intervention. Trucks, freight trains and ships account for almost a third of total GHG emissions in the transportation sector. Although they are the mainstay of our economic activity, it is essential to reduce their environmental footprint. For technical and economic reasons, natural gas, and not electricity, is the solution for these market segments, explains Gaz Métro.
“The measures announced today are important, because they will help speed up the use of natural gas as fuel, resulting in an immediate reduction of up to 25% in GHG emissions,” said Sophie Brochu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gaz Métro.
Already, a number of Quebec companies, notably Robert Transport and EBI, have adopted natural gas. A truck that runs on natural gas emits up to 25% fewer GHGs and fuel costs are up to 40% cheaper than diesel.
An earlier incentive program offered by the Quebec Government, the first measure of it’s type in Canada, was fully subscribed based on the Robert Transport project according to CNGVA. In that program, the depreciation rate applicable to commercial trucks or tractors was increased from 40% to 60% for any new equipment acquired after March 31st, 2010 and an additional 85% cut for amortization reduction was granted if the truck or tractor ran on LNG. Robert Transport purchased 180 Peterbilt liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks featuring Westport HD Systems.