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Quebec doling out money for green technologies

MONTREAL, Que. -- Transports Quebec has $28.3 million dollars burning a hole in its pocket. It wants trucking industry players to spend it on approved equipment and on demonstration and approval projects for newer technologies that reduce fuel...


MONTREAL, Que. — Transports Quebec has $28.3 million dollars burning a hole in its pocket. It wants trucking industry players to spend it on approved equipment and on demonstration and approval projects for newer technologies that reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The program is called Ecocamionnage (Ecotrucking). Hundreds of trucking companies will correctly recall that it closely resembles a $27-million dollar program, called PEETM, launched in 2009 to get fuel- and greenhouse gas-reducing technologies into the province’s transport trucks.

Ecotrucking is a considerably expanded program, however. It has a longer list of approved equipment, and money for companies that want to test and certify newer products for use. Ecotrucking even has money for improving company logistics.

Announced Feb. 25, Ecotrucking will subsidize trucking companies to the tune of 30% and more for a variety of purchases and activities.

The program runs until March 31, 2017, unless the $28.3 million is spent before then. Applications for subsidies must be sent no later than Feb. 1, 2017. It is open to owners and operators as described in the Act respecting owners, operators and drivers and heavy vehicles. It is also open to Quebec-based businesses, institutions and people, such as the manufacturers and distributors of equipment that reduces fuel consumption and greenhouse gases.

Ecotrucking offers financial aid in four target areas: the acquisition of technologies that have been evaluated and is on the list of approved equipment; the certification of technologies so they can be added to the list of technologies approved for financing; technologies under development or that require demonstration or testing; improving transport logistics, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The expanded list of approved equipment includes more manufacturers and models. Ecotrucking also includes funding for electric and hybrid vehicles and natural gas engines.

There are seven categories of approved technologies. For each, the maximum subsidy is per unit or vehicle. However, a truck owner can apply for more than one subsidy per truck; ie., side skirts and an on-board computer. Applicants must have already purchased and installed the equipment before applying for a subsidy. A single applicant may only request a maximum of $1 million in aid per year.

The first category is anti-idling technologies, offering a 30% subsidy, up to $3,000. They include cab heaters, engine heaters, battery-operated air-conditioners and combined heating/AC systems. Around 30 manufacturers are represented.

The second category includes auxiliary systems that operate truck equipment such as hoist buckets, sign panels and cold storage systems. The government will kick in 30% of the purchase and installation cost, up to $15,000.

Category three covers on-board computers. The list of eligible manufacturers has been increased from 19 in the PEETM program to 25 in Ecotrucking. The subsidy in this category is 30%, and tops out at $900 per on-board computer.

Category four is for aerodynamic equipment. Again, the list is much longer than the PEETM list. In addition to side skirts, from 10 manufacturers now, and dump truck box covers, a variety of tractor-mounted gear is eligible. A purchase subsidy of 30%, up to $3,000, is on offer.

Category five is described as a grab bag of things that are not in categories one to four. That said, there is just one technology listed right now – the E-Codriver, which is manufactured by RM2J in Boucherville, Que. Said to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10.9% (it was tested according to SAE J1321), it adjusts the engine power according to the engine load. Subsidies in this category are worth 30%, up to a cool $15,000.

Category six is for hybrid or electric vehicles. The subsidy for this category is 50%, up to a whopping $75,000 per purchase.

The seventh and last category is for fuel replacement technologies, namely, engines that burn compressed and liquefied natural gas. The listed engines are the Cummins Westport 8.9-litre ISL G and the Westport 15-litre engine (Westport stopped taking orders for the 15L engine last November). The subsidy in this category is 30%, up to $15,000.

Transports Quebec has a summary of the program at www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca. This page has links to all the necessary forms, such as the request for purchase of a technology, doing a demonstration project, and guides for each type of aid.


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