Canadian Deployment Roadmap Highlights Competitiveness and Benefits of Natural Gas Trucking

| Canada, Ottawa | Source: CNGVA

The Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA) has welcomed the release of a roundtable report on natural gas use in the transportation sector. The deployment roadmap report, sponsored by the government ministry Natural Resources Canada, highlights the competitiveness and environmental benefits of introducing natural gas for trucking along key corridors and for urban fleets in Canada. The report resulted from work undertaken by the members of the Natural Gas Use in Transportation Roundtable.

The CNGVA praised the Government of Canada for this initiative and noted the significant leadership demonstrated by Natural Resources Canada in bringing together fleet end users, environmental groups, government, and industry to look at the best uses for natural gas in Canada’s transportation sector.

“This an excellent example of federal leadership and industry collaboration. Natural gas can provide clean, cost effective transportation solutions which will benefit all Canadians,” said Jonathan Burke, Chair of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance and Vice President of Vancouver-based Westport Innovations.

The key finding of the report was that trucking fleets that operate along regional corridors and in urban areas can improve their competitiveness and reduce their environmental impacts by using natural gas. Canadian communities will also benefit: first, by the use of lower emission natural gas refuse collection trucks and other commercial vehicles; and second, from local jobs created by Canadian companies who are leading suppliers of innovative natural gas vehicle and station technologies.

The business modeling analyzed the all-in cost for natural gas fleet ownership compared to the cost for diesel fleet ownership.

Industry is investing in natural gas incrementally, but government can help lower the barriers to wider adoption. “Operating natural gas trucks helps reduce one of our largest costs (fuel) and reduces our carbon footprint. This is a win-win for both the environment and for fleets who adopt natural gas,” said Claude Robert, President and CEO of Robert Transport, one of Canada’s largest for hire trucking companies who recently purchased 180 natural gas trucks.

The report urged government to provide measures to help carriers offset the costs of buying and operating LNG-fueled trucks – a point the trucking industry agrees with. “We’d much rather that the federal government focused on these real solutions than trying to push things like biodiesel down the industry’s throat,” Canadian Trucking Alliance chief David Bradley is reported as saying in a Truck News report.

Natural gas is a clean-burning and less carbon intensive fuel. Canada is a leading producer with more than 100 years of available resources. Wayne Geis, Vice President, Natural Gas Economy for Calgary-based Encana Corporation noted, “Technology breakthroughs have unlocked vast new supplies of natural gas and increased use in transportation will drive economic growth and new job creation within Canada.”

Heavy trucks and buses, the focus of the report’s recommendations, represent less than 5 per cent of vehicles in Canada, but they contributed nearly one-third of carbon emissions from on-road vehicles in 2008.

Next Steps (from the report)

The Roadmap analysis found that medium- and heavy-duty vehicles offer the greatest opportunities for increased natural gas use in the immediate term. To optimize natural gas use in these vehicle applications, the Roadmap:

  • Provides analysis regarding end-use business modelling, education and outreach, and R&D needs;
  • Offers governments and industry recommendations related to de-risking investment and early adoption, addressing information gaps, increasing capacity
  • to sustain markets, and ensuring ongoing competitiveness of the NGV industry; and
  • Defines the future roles and responsibilities of major stakeholders.

The full report, located on the Natural Resources Canada website, is available here.

Item primarily compiled using information from a CNGVA press release.

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