ETOBICOKE, Ont. — The Ontario government revealed three new initiatives to encourage commuters and businesses to reduce greenhouse gases, the latest step in the government’s climate change plan.
“Thousands of Ontario drivers are already going green – we want to encourage even more to do the same,” said Transport Minister Donna Cansfield. “By rewarding drivers and businesses who switch to clean fuel-efficient vehicles, we can reduce pollution and help put Ontario companies at the forefront of green innovation.”
The government will begin stakeholder consultations with vehicle manufacturers and environmental groups to develop a green vehicle program that will rate cars, light trucks and commercial vehicles using environmental criteria.
Through consultation, incentives will be identified to encourage people to buy green vehicles that will be recognized with an Eco-licence plate, to be launched the summer of 2008.
The province is investing $15 million over four years for a pilot to help businesses convert to more environmentally-friendly technologies, such as hybrid power. The project aims to help the government and industry learn more about the technology, spur investment and help make medium-duty hybrid trucks more affordable for Ontario businesses.
Ontario will also increase the use of cleaner fuel in its own fleet by installing two new ethanol fuelling stations in the province, Environment Minister Laurel Broten announced. These new facilities could also be made available to other users, such as municipal fleets once they are operational.
The announcement by the ministers was made at Purolator’s Metro West facility, where some of Purolator’s hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), its fuel-cell hybrid electric vehicle and its hydrogen generation and refueling system are located.
“We are very pleased with the provincial government’s announcement and feel that this is a step in the right direction for companies planning to integrate green transportation technologies into their business,” said Robert Johnson, president and CEO of Purolator. “As an early adopter of HEVs, we think government support is critical to making these green technologies a viable option for businesses. This announcement will help make our vision to lead the industry towards a future standard of zero emission vehicles possible.”
Since introducing HEVs to its fleet of curb-side delivery vehicles in 2005, Purolator has logged more than 333,000 kilometres, saving almost 60,000 litres of fuel and preventing the emission of over 150 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, in carbon dioxide equivalents, as well as associated smog-causing emissions.
“Our first order of HEVs have met our expectations in terms of fuel efficiency as well as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Serge Viola, national fleet director. “With the significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel savings promised by HEVs, we believe that our customers, our employees, the environment and our company will all benefit.”
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