Canada has been relatively slow to allow natural gas options to penetrate the heavy-duty vehicle market. To help spread awareness about the fuel, a series of GO WITH NATURAL GAS Information Hubs will begin in June 2014 to deliver fact-based information, education materials, access to resources, and fleet workshops across the country.
The hubs are particularly well-equipped to help fleets operating in the highway trucking, refuse, vocational, major municipal, urban transit bus or school bus sectors, for which there are factory-built natural gas vehicles available.
The Hubs are jointly financed by the government of Canada ecoENERGY for Alternative Fuels Program and by the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance and provide a single point of contact for fleets. They deal with issues such as why use natural gas, say, instead of diesel, or how natural gas engine technologies have improved.
Other questions are: What are the engines available today and coming to the market soon? What are the requirements for fuel storage? What are the refueling options and what are the economic and environmental benefits of switching to natural gas? The Eastern Information Hub covers Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. It is operated by MARCON Management Consultants, a Québec-based organization focused on market research, strategy, and project/program management.
The Western Information Hub serves British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The Western Information Hub is operated by C3, an Alberta-based organization focused on climate change and sustainability.
A third Hub is dedicated to all French Canadian organizations and is also operated by MARCON.
Five workshops have already taken place, attended by more than 200 people.
Nine more workshops are being planned across the country. The first will take place in Moncton, NB on June 11, 2014. Two workshops will take place in Ontario in the fall; one in Hamilton and another in Oshawa. On those occasions, the theme and agenda will revolve around understanding the economics of NGVs.
These represent exceptional opportunities for Fleet Managers to question experts and to exchange with some of their peers who have already Gone with Natural Gas.
For additional information, the Hubs can be reached by phone at (1-844-242-8485) or by email at easternNGVhub@marcon.qc.ca, westernNGVhub@marcon.qc.ca or at carrefourVGN@marcon.qc.ca .