February 28, 2014

Go with Natural Gas Event Takes the Stage in BC

Surrey BC’s “Go with Natural Gas Outreach Hub” event on February 26 featured a lively discussion on natural gas vehicles (NGVs), with topics such as product options, fuelling station options, garage modifications, incentives, and a fleet case study of Cold Star Freight of Vancouver Island.

Approximately 60 people from industry, fleets, and government attended. Angus Taylor, Senior Manager of Transportation and Renewable Energy at C3 based in Calgary, hosted the event. Go with Natural Gas events have taken place across Canada to educate and promote the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) in transportation.

The workshop gave a broad scope of information on adopting natural gas for transportation with speakers such as Jeff Campbell of Cummins Westport Inc. who spoke about product options for natural gas engines and available configurations.

Steve Steinebach, VP Business Development at IMW Industries, Ltd., a Clean Energy company, gave an overview of fuelling station options and infrastructure development trends.

Langley BC company Jenmar Concepts led a discussion on garage modifications for CNG readiness. All the necessary standards, equipment and considerations required to upfit a garage gave the audience the quick overview to help in decision-making.

Georgina Wheatcroft speaks about incentives for natural gas.
Fortis BC led the conversation on infrastructure and vehicle incentives. Georgina Wheatcroft presented the details of the current offer of up to 60 percent of incremental costs covered for CNG and LNG vehicle purchases. Application periods follow the schedule below:

Application period
Jan 1 – Mar 31, 2014
Apr 1-June 30, 2014
July 1-Sept 30, 2014
Oct 1-Dec 31, 2014
Incentive %
Up to 60%
Application deadline
31 Mar 2014
30 Jun 2014
30 Sept 2014
31 Dec 2014
Contribution agreement deadline
30 June 2014
30 Sept 2014
31 Dec 2014
31 Mar 2015
PO deadline
30 Sept 2014
31 Dec 2014
31 Mar 2015
30 June 2015

Case studies provide good real-life examples of how fleets are transitioning to NGVs, and Kelly Hawes, President of Cold Star Freight shared his recent experience with deploying 10 CNG tractors based in Victoria with return-to-base operations. Kelly mentioned the importance of providing driver training and education well before the trucks arrive. Cold Star Freight’s drivers were excited to work with something new, and Kelly said the value in getting driver response on the engine and fueling practices. Feedback has been very good so far - the trucks have only been in operation just over one week.

One of Cold Star Freight's natural gas trucks on display
Cold Star Freight put in its own fueling facility on the compound with help from Fortis since is no retail natural gas fueling currently available on the island, so this is the first. Kelly said he now has competitors using his station and paying him a premium. He noted that Fortis financial incentives were the turning point for the adoption of natural gas making this transition possible.

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