NRCAN Announces National Hydrogen Strategy for Canada

Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) today announced its Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, which refers to a significant role for the trucking industry in substantially reducing carbon emissions as the industry continues to search for a viable propulsion mode for further reducing carbon in the future.

The NRCAN report highlights the many potential benefits and efficiencies of hydrogen in the transportation industry, specifically emissions reductions. Many of these strategies are currently being examined through the hydrogen truck pilot occurring in Alberta, which is being used as a testbed to better understand the limitations and benefits of the current technology in the trucking industry. NRCAN expects the pilot to expand over the next few years.

The report also highlights potential challenges that need to be addressed to make the technology more viable moving forward. Some of the issues outlined include battery weights; the lack of available infrastructure; reduced payload; and the incremental cost and other risks that are considerable challenges for an industry relying heavily on diesel fuel.

“CTA supports the reduction of carbon emissions and is open to all possibilities to reduce GHG in our sector. However, the diesel engine will continue to be the workhorse for our industry for the foreseeable future – not by choice – but because of operational realities, and the lack of a technological substitute and its corresponding refueling infrastructure system,” says CTA’s director of Policy and Industry Awareness Programs, Lak Shoan.

The report also mentions support is needed for all sectors of the economy for de-risking these investments – something CTA has reiterated in multiple discussions with NRCAN and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“As the role of hydrogen and the clean energy transformation continues, governments must understand these technologies need to be fully tested, reliable, and cost-effective when they enter the marketplace,” said Shoan. “Significant incentives funded by carbon tax revenues generated by our sector need to be introduced to offset these costs and encourage fleets to take advantage of hydrogen and other emissions-reduction technologies.”

CTA has also reiterated that a roadmap for decarbonization of the trucking industry through new modes of propulsion needs to be a priority for the federal government, especially as further environmental measures are continuously introduced.

NRCAN expects a steering committee or additional working groups will continue to be developed over the next few years to further examine and outline the role of hydrogen within the trucking industry.

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