McGuinty greenlights hybrid truck incentives

 TORONTO — It looks as if the Ontario Trucking Association has cashed in some political capital at Queen’s Park.

Late yesterday afternoon, the Ontario Liberals announced a pilot program to accelerate market penetration of hybrid trucks in the province — a policy the OTA has lobbied for years for.

Under the four-year, $15-million Green Commercial Vehicle Program, select carriers will get grants to either purchase new hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles or retrofit heavy-duty vehicles with anti-idling technologies.

Ontario becomes the first province to offer incentives for hybrid technology. Such programs have already been available in the U.S., which has helped advance purchases.

The fuel savings data collected by the program will help encourage more businesses to go green, the government states in a press release.


Data collected by the program will help encourage
more businesses to go green the government says.

Applications for the program will be available November 28, 2008. It will be retroactive to August 2007, the launch date of the Go Green Action Plan.

"Our Green Commercial Vehicle Program could take up to 40,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions out of our air every year. Helping big and small companies to operate greener, more fuel-efficient vehicles will help us all breathe a little easier," said Transportation Minister Jim Bradley.

Around 2,500 commercial vehicles are expected to be eligible for conversion to hybrid and alternative fuels (natural gas and propane) and use anti-idling technology.

B.C. could be the next province that follows suit as that province’s main trucking association is pressing for such things as grants or rebates for proven fuel-reducing technologies, no-cost loans guaranteed by the provincial government, and extension of the PST exemption for purchasing environmentally friendly technology.


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