June 19, 2013

Photo Diary - NGV Europe 2013 - Gothenburg

Gothenburg, Sweden – the home of Westport Sweden – was host to NGV Europe 2013 from June 11 to 13. Westport exhibited side-by-side with with Volvo Cars as they unveiled the new V60 Bi-Fuel car at the event. Westport is proud to have been the sole supplier of natural gas and biomethane fuel systems to Volvo Car since 2009.

Westport develops and installs natural gas and biomethane systems for the Volvo V70 estate cars, and starting in October, for the Volvo V60. The assembly takes place in Westport’s operations located inside Volvo Car's main Torslander production centre near Gothenburg.

The day before NGV Europe, Westport hosted a tour of its and Volvo Car’s facilities. It included a visit to the Volvo Brand Experience Centre, a ride and drive on the Volvo Test Track and a tour of the Westport Sweden Centre.

Westport hosted a reception for customers, partners, speakers and workshop attendees on Tuesday night at its booth with special guest, Mr. Kenneth Macartney, Ambassador of Canada to the Kingdom of Sweden.

Other highlights included presentations from Ian Scott, Executive Vice President and workshop given by Gordon Exel, Westport’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing at the Vehicles and Vessels workshop.

The Westport booth on opening day of NGV Europe - Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

The Westport reception,  hosted on opening night of NGV Europe.

Ian Scott, Executive Vice President, addresses about 200 people on opening night.

Anders Johansson, Director, Research & Development for Westport Sweden, explains NGV technology in the Westport booth to an attendee.

Executive Vice President Elaine Wong (left) speaks to an attendee in front of the Volvo V60 and V70 cars on display. 

The V70 Bi-Fuel car on display at City Hall for the NGV gala dinner. 

The V70 Bi-Fuel cars available for test driving at the Volvo Test Track for the NGV Study Tour.  

June 10, 2013

Incentives, Grants and Tax Credits: Helping Drive the Adoption of NGVs

As natural gas becomes an increasingly viable alternative to gasoline or diesel in fleet transportation, more countries around the world are offering natural gas vehicle (NGV) tax credits, grants and incentives, enabling a more affordable transition for fleet managers and individuals. These measures are offered by governments - many at the state or provincial levels – as well as by non-governmental agencies. 

In Sweden, the government recently announced the extension of an incentive until 2016 whereby company car buyers receive a 40 per cent reduced tax rate. This makes the cost of NGVs competitive with gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles in that country.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in recent years, state incentives, including tax credits, grants, and rebates, have supported the deployment of natural gas vehicles and the associated infrastructure. In addition, certain state laws and regulations, such as fleet acquisition requirements, have increased the number of NGVs on the road.

The DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center offers a database which allows users to search for natural gas laws and incentives in every state. In addition, the advanced search narrows the parameters even further. Also, the page called   Incentive and Law Additions by Fuel and Technology Type, allows visitors to select specific fuel types and view natural gas incentives and laws according to a specific fuel.

In 2012 alone, over 35 new incentives and laws related to natural gas were added to the database.
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection is leading the Natural Gas Vehicle Program, which was recently widely reported in the media.  The Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant program is currently offering an estimated $10 million in grants. It offers:

An opportunity to propose projects which will convert or purchase natural gas vehicles weighing less than 14,000 pounds as well as convert or purchase electric, propane, or other alternative fuel vehicles of any size.

Pennsylvania is joined by several other states in offering financial incentives to invest in NGVs: Maryland, New York, Wisconsin, Colorado, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and West Virginia are a few states which also offer programs. Some states, like Texas, offer programs which cover up to 80 per cent of the incremental cost of an NGV; others like California, offer various programs which open periodically when funds are available.

Keith Leech, fleet manager with the City of Sacramento is also the area’s Clean Cities coordinator and chairman. He says the Federal alternative fuel excise tax credit of 50 cents per gallon has enabled his city to double its natural gas fuel infrastructure.

“I’m not sure we could have done it without it,” Leech says.

The City of Sacramento currently operates 100 liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuse trucks with four LNG dispensers.

“We’ve been running natural gas garbage trucks for over 10 years and it’s going great,” he says.
His city also just received a $600,000 grant from the California Energy Commission and he says the number of public fueling stations is also increasing.

In Canada, British Columbia’s FortisBC, the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, has initiated the FORTIS Natural Gas for Transport Incentive Program: they offer incentives for heavy, medium and light duty vehicles.  The government of BC has also recently extended its Clean Energy Vehicles for BC program, which includes incentives for CNG vehicles.

In China, the government has long supported natural gas vehicles by offering incentives at the local and central levels. Since 2006, the country has offered a range of programs aimed at promoting natural gas-based clean transportation for the purpose of reducing emissions, saving energy and ensuring national energy security.

For current information about incentives near you, visit Westport’s new incentives chart: http://www.westport.com/products/engines/15/tax-credits-and-incentives.

Have you been successful in receiving a grant or tax incentive? Tell us about it!

June 3, 2013

Westport Bikes to Work 2013

Westport was a proud participant in the 2013 Hub Bike to Work Week, from May 27 to June 2.

Westporters pedaled their way to the following results:

Number of Trips Biked = 80

Number of Kilometers Biked = 867

Amount of Greenhouse Gas reduced*= 175 Kg

Congratulations to all of the participants in Vancouver and across the province!

Here are a few memorable moments from a week of getting to and from work on two wheels. Whether it was biking through high water, enjoying a ride with family, or popping wheelies, our team exhibited determination, style and fun. We look forward to logging our kilometres again in 2014!

James captures a creative moment as he arrives to start his day.

 Marco didn't let heavy rain stop him from his daily two-wheeled commute.

Dale and his son participated in both Bike to Work Week and Bike to School Week!

Teresa exhibits style and sustainability.

Some of the team gathered on the last day of Bike to Work Week to celebrate their achievements.