The federal government’s recent report, Evaluation of the Winter Performance of Compressed Natural Gas Refuse Trucks, has confirmed what this blog has believed all along: natural gas trucks perform well, in even the harshest Canadian cold-weather conditions.
Demonstrating the practical applications of natural gas, while also instituting new heavy vehicle emission standards for heavy vehicles, is a priority for Transport Canada. That’s why they documented and studied the cold-weather operation of a compressed natural gas refuse truck fleet – 18 Peterbilt trucks with Cummins Westport 8.9 litre engines, in all – owned and operated by EBI (a Berthierville, Quebec-based company). The study also tracked a 58-vehicle CNG fleet of refuse trucks operating in Winnipeg by Emterra Environmental.
The real-world experience of one of Canada’s first heavy natural gas fleets was documented. EBI has been operating the trucks for over two years, at winter temperatures as low as -16ºC. The report found that CNG trucks operate well, with no issues in cold weather, provided normal winter aids are used and the vehicle’s design is suitable for cold weather. In fact, they were so suitable that EBI has since gone on to purchase another 32 natural gas trucks for their performance, emissions benefits, and their fuel savings over diesel.
EBI’s president Pierre Sylvestre, put it this way: “Natural gas is a great option that offers fuel savings from day one. We’re proud of our natural gas fleet. We’re also investing in a network of public stations to bring CNG to the broader Quebec market.”
“More private-sector investments like EBI’s should be encouraged as they accelerate the transition to lower emission vehicle use in Canada,” says Alicia Milner, President of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance.
Do you feel natural gas holds the key to a cleaner, more affordable and reliable future for heavy transport? Let us know in the comments section provided below.
Source: “Natural gas trucks cold weather performance,” 11/15/13, Canadian Newswire Group