For many when they think of natural gas in British Columbia, they immediately think of the Horn River basin. However, Vancouver, BC, is home to one of the leaders in the design and development of natural gas engines. Vancouver-based Westport Innovations signed a major deal with Volvo to design and develop a clean-burning natural gas engine for the Swedish automaker’s fleet of large trucks. Volvo is the world’s second largest truck manufacturer.
Westport Chief Executive David Demers is quoted by Reuters;
“Volvo power trains doesn’t have other natural gas engines … It is a big deal for the industry that the biggest (diesel truckmakers) are announcing that they are getting into natural gas.”
Natural gas emits as much as 30% less carbon then diesel or gas engines and there is growing momentum in the United States to provide increased incentives to use more natural gas in the country’s heavy truck transportation network. Unfortunately, Canada seems to trail the U.S. to increase the usage of natural gas in heavy trucks.
By taking advantage of the new abundance of domestic natural gas in Canada and using more natural gas in our transportation network, Canada could reduce carbon emissions and encourage economic growth in support industries like Westport Innovations.