Now or never for natural gas [July-August 2012 Print Edition]

Truckers support use of LNG

August 30, 2012
by Fleet Management staff

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has thrown its support behind a recommendation to expand the use of natural gas in the Canadian economy. The report, Now or Never, was released in July by the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources for the Government of Canada. It states that natural gas is a “game changing fuel,” that the product “is becoming a platform fuel for the Canadian economy” and that its expansion by governments “should be encouraged.”

CTA supports the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology into the Class 8 market and has emphasized the role federal and provincial governments must play in these early days of the technology in order for the trucking industry to adopt it.

“The GHG reduction benefits of LNG are real, and at current prices, it is an attractive alternative to diesel fuel. However, it will require investment in distribution infrastructure on the part of producers, as well as significant tax incentives and incentives and price guarantees to allow and encourage those carriers who are interested to make the shift,” said Stephen Laskowski, senior vice president of CTA.

The price differential for a LNG Class 8 tractor compared to a similar diesel version can reportedly vary by as much as $100,000. Price differences between LNG and diesel powered vehicles will vary based on application and options required by the operator.

“At this price differential, without government financial incentives for the trucking industry or distribution infrastructure, the Canadian trucking industry will be cautious in its approach towards this technology,” added Laskowski.