TORONTO, Ont. – Vision Truck Group and Enbridge Gas are teaming up to rent natural gas vehicles, offering businesses a chance to test drive the technology without shouldering the premium purchase cost.
The equipment will be available for the same cost as diesel power units, even though the trucks that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) could cost as much as $210,000.
Natural gas engine maker Cummins Westport is also collaborating in the project. Three trucks are initially available.
“This technology is not brand new, but this business approach is,” Vision customer relationship and brand manager Greig Howlett said in an interview with Truck News.
Vision is the first dealership in Canada to offer CNG trucks for rent, he said.
Those who are environmentally conscious, and want to bring down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, should go for it, Howlett said.
Natural gas vehicles can reduce GHG emissions by up to 25%, according to the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance.
Bruce Winchester, executive director of the alliance, praised the initiative as a good step.
“This demo program is quite unique, and I think it will generate a lot of interest,” he said.
The first company to test one of the Vision vehicles is Bunzl Canada, a cleaning and hygiene products supplier, which has begun using the truck on delivery routes in southwestern Ontario.
The company called the pilot project an “exciting opportunity” to reduce its environmental footprint on some of its busiest routes.
There are between 2,000 and 5,000 CNG trucks operating in Canada, and up to 90,000 in the U.S., Winchester said. He put the number of CNG stations in Canada at 42, many of them in the key corridors of Ontario and Quebec.
Worldwide, natural gas powers more than 27 million vehicles including two-wheelers, according to NGV Global Statistics.
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