Fleets offered bucks to test green trucks

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OTTAWA, Ont. — When the feds announced Canada’s Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change, one of the 26 key components was the Freight Efficiency and Technology Initiative.

Led by Transport Canada with the cooperation of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the initiative aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the freight transportation sector.

It consists of three components:

* The Freight Sustainability Demonstration Program, which will support the demonstration and evaluation of innovative tools, technologies and best practices that can reduce GHG emissions from the freight transportation sector;

* The establishment of voluntary performance agreements between the federal government and industry associations representing each mode of transportation — rail, marine, aviation and trucking;

* And training and awareness for freight operators and shippers to create a better understanding of the impacts of climate change and encourage participants to take a leadership role in reducing GHG emissions.

For the demonstration component, efforts are underway to begin inking fleets to the program. The deadline for submitting proposals for the first round is Mar. 2, 2002. In total, NRCan expects there will be eight opportunities to submit proposals over the five-year life of the program.

Approved projects can receive up to a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum federal contribution of $250,000 payable over a two-year period.

“This is a good opportunity for forward thinking freight carriers who want to test some technology or implement a ‘best practice’ to get some assistance for their project,” says Lynda Harvey of NRCan’s FleetSmart program.

While the program is being managed by Transport Canada who will oversee the air, rail and marine component, NRCan/FleetSmart will be overseeing the over the road freight sector.

Project submissions will be reviewed by an independent body and all the information you need to get registered is in the applicants guide at http://www.tc.gc.ca/programs/environment/freighttransportation/demo/menu.htm.

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