The only regulated freight mode already using a bevy of diverse carbon-cutting technologies will get even greener after a boost from the Ontario Government today.
Contained in the Ontario Climate Change Action plan announced today are details for up to $270 million in funding to expedite adoption of progressive GHG-reduction trucking technologies and diminishing economic barriers that have historically impeded industry investment.
The bulk of the plan centres on a new Green Commercial Vehicle Program which provides up to $170 million for electric and natural gas-powered commercial vehicles, infrastructure and temperature controlled trailer technology – as well as tractor-trailer aerodynamic devices and anti-idling devices. The program is expected to launch in 2017-2018.
“Today’s announcement makes it easier for Ontario trucking companies to transition to greener, low carbon-intensive fuels such as electric and natural gas technology and spur market penetration of proven fuel-cutting aerodynamic and anti-idling products ,” said Stephen Laskowski, President of the Ontario Trucking Association. “By de-risking investment in these technologies, the Ontario government is allowing the trucking industry – already a leader in putting carbon-reducing, fuel efficient tools to work – to accelerate the shift to more advanced, cutting edge alternatives that further reduce the industry’s carbon footprint and increase economic competitiveness.”
The government also stated it is dedicating $75-100 million to build a province-wide natural gas fueling network. In its release, the government specifically mentions OTA as its key partner in helping to establish this project.
While program details are not yet available regarding specific funding levels per vehicle, trailer and add-on device, OTA also looks forward to working with the Government of Ontario, fuel suppliers and equipment manufactures to ensure that this opportunity is maximized to its fullest potential.
To kick-start this process, OTA will be hosting a workshop in July to educate the industry of this opportunity. (Anyone interested in attending or would like more info on this issue should email [email protected]).
“With this announcement, the Government of Ontario has created a watershed opportunity for the commercial natural gas vehicle industry to market innovative environmental products and technology to our sector,” added Laskowski. “What we have now is a partner in government that will work with us to bring about GHG reductions even more quickly. It’s now time for the private sector to maximize this opportunity through leadership and cooperation.”