BC launches incentive program for natural gas vehicles



VANCOUVER -- The B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines today announced the Greenhouse Gas Reduction regulation that advances the adoption and deployment of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in BC.

The regulation permits a utility to spend up to $62 million on vehicle and ferry incentives, up to $12 million on compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelling stations and up to $30.5 million on liquefied natural gas stations, for a total of $104.5 million.

'It makes sense to develop a market for natural gas transportation here in B.C. by using our abundant natural gas reserves,' said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines. (Pictured below).

'This regulation will help us build on our global leadership in clean transportation, bringing new jobs and more economic opportunities to the province.'

'Our clean tech sector is a driving factor in the economic growth of British Columbia, generating $2.5 billion in revenue with a combined payroll estimated at $650 million,' said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation.

'With this regulation, more companies will integrate B.C.'s world-leading natural gas technologies into their operations, increasing their competitiveness and driving innovation.'

GLOBE Advisors in its West Coast Clean Economy Study released in March 2012, recommended to Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) member jurisdictions (British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington) that supporting more environmentally efficient modes of transportation and use of natural gas for long-haul trucking and ferry fleets would not only promote cleaner forms of transportation, but also would stimulate economic growth along the west coast.

Westport Innovations Inc., a leading supplier of natural gas vehicle technologies believes this important program will benefit British Columbia's economy, environment and transportation options for industry.

'This is a positive step that will promote the use of domestic BC natural gas as a transportation fuel, and generate both environmental and economic benefits for our province and residents,' said David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovations.

'British Columbia is home to world-class companies that both generate and use natural gas transportation technology, and this program will allow the accelerated adoption of natural gas heavy-duty vehicles.'

This regulation allows utility companies to deliver natural gas transportation programs until March 31, 2017, including the opportunity to:

  • Offer incentives to transportation fleets that would use natural gas such as  buses, trucks or ferries
  • Build, own and operate compressed natural gas fuelling stations or liquefied natural gas fuelling stations
  • Upgrade facilities to provide training to safely maintain natural gas vehicles

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction regulation will promote the use of British Columbia's abundant natural gas resources as a transportation fuel in heavy-duty transport vehicles, such as trucks, transit buses, school buses, refuse trucks and marine vessels.

The program's objectives include displacing high carbon fuel, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and increasing natural gas fueling infrastructure. Natural gas vehicles are a proven technology used across the globe.

Natural gas is 25 to 40 per cent cheaper than gasoline and diesel and produces up to 25 per cent fewer GHG emissions compared to a gasoline or diesel vehicle.

In addition, the Province is offering direct grants of up to $2,500 to purchasers of qualifying CNG vehicles. This is being offered through the $14.3 million Clean Energy Vehicle Program, announced in Nov. 2011.

BC has an abundant supply of low cost and low carbon natural gas. This program will allow local governments and businesses to take advantage of the benefits of natural gas, including lower fueling costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The Province will require annual reporting on the programs being offered to review success and determine if any changes are required.

Find out more about B.C.'s Natural Gas Strategy here.

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