TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is hailing a provincial government announcement that promotes anti-idling technologies.
The four-year, $15 million grant program is designed to assist operators of commercial vehicles in the battle against climate change, by investing in fuel saving technologies, and is considered “a good first step that is consistent with the industry’s enviroTruck initiative,” according to the OTA, which has been working with the province for the past year in developing the program.
“The current economic times make it tough for the industry to make capital investments,” says OTA president, David Bradley. “Through the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s enviroTruck program, we have been calling upon both the federal and provincial governments to provide incentives to accelerate the penetration of proven fuel saving technologies, and devices into the marketplace. While the Green Commercial Vehicle Program is modest in terms of the overall grants available to the industry, it is a good start and something we can build upon. While we have yet to see all of the details, we think MTO is taking the right approach.”
The OTA estimates that APU technology can reduce idling by up to 90% and save up to 7,200 litres of diesel fuel per year for a typical tractor semi-trailer unit. However, the purchase cost of the technology is expensive, averaging from $8,000 to $10,000 per unit, and thus the need for this and previous incentive programs, according to the OTA
Under the plan, Ontario trucking companies will be able to apply for grants towards the purchase of anti-idling devices, such as auxiliary power units (APU’s) or in-cab heater technologies, and hybrid or alternative energy vehicles. Companies that qualify for the grant, are required collect data on the fuel savings from the green technologies, as part of a longer-term effort to reduce GHG emissions.
Applications for the program will be available Nov. 28, and the program is retroactive to August 2007 the launch date of the McGuinty government’s “Go Green Action Plan” which includes targets for greenhouse gas reductions by the freight transportation sector. According to Transportation Minister Jim Bradley, the Green Commercial Vehicle Program could take up to 40,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions out of the air every year.
“Helping big and small companies to operate greener, more fuel-efficient vehicles will help us all breathe a little easier.”
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40,000 tonnes is equivalent to taking about 8,000 cars off the road each year, according to the ministry. “Helping businesses make the switch to fuel-efficient trucks will put Ontario companies at the forefront of green innovation and reduce pollution,” said Environment Minister John Gerretsen.
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