Major North American Natural Gas Truck Project Links Canada and the United States
North America's first major north-south natural gas truck project will soon be underway with 100 compressed natural gas (CNG) commercial heavy trucks travelling between Quebec and Texas. The project was announced late last week by Ryder System Inc. who has signed a full-service lease agreement for the vehicles with C.A.T. Inc. The new trucks will replace almost one-third of existing fleet and operate on a long-haul route of an estimated 3,400 kilometers with fueling provided by an undisclosed third party.
"This is a timely and important development for the North American transportation sector," said Alicia Milner, President of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance. "Greater use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel can contribute to economic and environmental objectives for Canada and the United States."
In late August, the Harper Government and the Obama Administration released the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council's Joint Forward Plan with natural gas for transportation being one of 24 priority areas identified for improvements in the way regulatory departments and agencies in both countries work together.
"Natural gas used as a transportation fuel is driven by a combination of factors including affordable natural gas prices, the availability of new engine and vehicle technology, and lower emissions compared with conventional fuels," said Timothy M. Egan, President and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association. "This project is exciting given the long-haul and cross-border route involved."
Based in Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec, C.A.T. Inc. has been in operation since 1978 providing transportation services to the automotive, food, beverage, consumer goods, and electronics industries. "C.A.T. Inc's natural gas fleet program will enable us to be extremely successful in supporting our customers' sustainability efforts. We are excited to work with Ryder System Inc. to transfer our diesel fleet to a CNG fleet in Canada," said C.A.T.'s President Daniel Goyette. The natural gas fleet is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 2,564 tonnes per year. The project will benefit from $15,000 per truck from the Government of Quebec's ecoCamionnage incentive funding program.
Ryder System Inc. is an industry leader in natural gas vehicle solutions for the commercial transportation market with more than 27 million miles of natural gas operating experience. This project is Ryder's first in Canada and their largest single natural gas fleet project to date. The company will provide maintenance for the 100 CNG trucks at their Montreal service facility, which is being upgraded for compliance with natural gas standards. To date, Ryder has deployed CNG and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles in fleets in California, New York, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Georgia, and Louisiana.