Canada’s Natural Gas Vehicle Industry
Canada’s natural gas vehicle industry consists of leading Canadian companies active in natural gas production and distribution, technology development and manufacturing, passenger vehicle conversion, and research, certification, and other technical services.
The industry has long been at the forefront of bringing innovative, lower emission technologies to market both in Canada and internationally. Canadian companies were the first to:
- Develop an engine capable of meeting 2010 emission standards three years early
- Create a natural gas engine capable of matching the efficiency of a diesel engine
- Ensure safe indoor refuelling of transit buses for the first time
- Develop a home refuelling appliance to fill passenger vehicles overnight
In partnership with government and with Ontario’s Hamilton Street Railway, the industry also developed the world’s first natural gas transit bus in 1985. This was the beginning for what is today the leading alternative technology for transit buses with more than 250,000 natural gas buses now in use reducing emissions around the globe.
Canada has extensive capabilities in the area of natural gas vehicle- and station-related manufacturing. At most points along the vehicle and station supply chain, a Canadian company is engaged producing equipment such as vehicle engines, fuel storage tanks, modular fuel storage systems, components for vehicles, natural gas dryers, fuel dispensers, biogas upgrading equipment, and complete compressed natural gas refuelling stations.
Two Canadian companies – Westport Innovations and Cummins Westport – sell natural gas engine systems that are integrated into factory-built vehicles by more than 15 different truck and bus manufacturers. Canadian vehicle manufacturers use Canadian engine technology in their production of natural gas transit buses and refuse truck bodies.
Canada also has two leading research-related organizations active in the natural gas vehicle sector – Powertech Labs whose expertise includes high pressure fuel storage tanks and the Saskatchewan Research Council whose work focuses on developing dual fuel vehicle systems incorporating gaseous fuels such as natural gas as well as storage tank diagnostic systems.
Canadian companies are global players exporting equipment and services to more than 25 countries around the world. Sector members are in engaged in partnerships that support local sales, service, and production in countries as diverse as China, Bangaldesh, Thailand, Colombia, India, and the United States. Some recent achievements include:
- Westport Innovations’ technology powering lower emission California port trucks
- Xebec Adsorption’s selling the first digester biogas upgrading system in China
- Cummins Westport’s supplying 200 engines for the first natural gas buses in Peru
- IMW Industries’ contract to manufacture 120 refuelling stations for China Gas
- Kraus Global’s dispensers being chosen for 2 of the 3 largest stations in the world
- Enviromech Industries’ supplying fuel systems to leading American manufacturers
- ECO Fuels’ network of qualified installation centres in and outside of Canada
The CNGVA has worked with International Trade Canada to support sector members’ individual efforts to increase export sales and access to local markets. The most recent activity focused on the Asia-Pacific market.