Waste & Recycling


Report highlights value of renewable CNG fuel for fleets

OTTAWA –A new report highlights the environmental and cost benefits of using renewable natural gas to fuel heavy-duty truck fleets.

Following extensive consultations with the natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry and fleet users, The Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA) released Natural Gas Use in the Medium and Heavy-Duty Transportation Sector this month. The report was prepared with the participation of 22 government and industry organizations.

The report builds on the observations and recommendations of a 2010 report: Natural Gas Use in the Transportation Sector. It incorporates updated information on natural gas supply including: an extensive section on renewable natural gas (RNG); information on technical developments as well as codes and standards developments; and examples of significant fleet successes to date.

The report finds that the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel can offer significant emission reduction benefits, with up to 25 percent GHG emissions reduction potential depending on the vehicle and fuelling system being used. The emergence of renewable natural gas (RNG) provides added emission reduction benefits for the transportation industry.

Significant use of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) by refuse, transit and trucking firms, as well as the use of natural gas as a fuel option by marine carriers, illustrates the market’s readiness for the technology in Canada and the potential for both cost and emissions’ savings.

“Continued industry and government collaboration – as exemplified by this report – is a key attribute that will advantage Canada in attaining cost and emissions reductions,” said Bruce Winchester, executive director of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance.

“NGVs are key in assisting Canada meet its immediate and long-term emissions reduction objectives. Canada’s NGV industry is poised and ready to be part of global efforts to lower emissions while keeping transportation affordable.”

There is a strong business case for NGVs in Canada. Natural gas costs remain stable, and high fuel usage fleets can benefit from cost savings. Additional regulatory measures favour the emissions’ reductions associated with NGVs accentuating the business case. As well, abundant supply of geological natural gas and the growing supply of RNG point to continued price stability and enhanced life-cycle emission reductions.

Extensive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) engine offerings for the on-road market, as well as a growing number of specialty off-road and marine engines, are being used by Canadian transportation fleets.

“Fleets across Canada are increasingly turning to natural gas to green their operations,” said Bart Van Aerle, president of Cummins Westport Inc.

“The Roadmap highlights this abundant, domestic fuel and its renewable options as a key resource for the betterment of Canada’s economy and environment.”

The report also suggests that more industry and government support is needed to help fleets defray risks, including:

    • Up-front vehicle cost premiums;
    • Greater access to re-fueling facilities to improve reach in the transportation sector;
    • Maintenance facility upgrades for both fleets and vendors;
    • Capital investment to enable production, processing, blending and connecting RNG supply to existing pipelines;
    • Stronger outreach tuned to the needs and concerns of various fleet users; and
    • Investments in R&D efforts, including collaborative partnerships with all levels of government, other countries, and research institutions.

The revised Deployment Roadmap provides a good point of departure for the industry and prospective fleet adopters to understand the opportunities that NGVs offer.