Vehicles & Stations
Commercial Vehicle & Station Technologies
Lower Emission Vehicles
Natural gas trucks and buses are available from a wide range of North American vehicle manufacturers. These factory-direct products integrate dedicated natural gas engines and are sold through regular sales channels. Technology improvements mean that natural gas trucks and buses now have power and performance characteristics similar to conventional vehicles.
Natural gas is a lower carbon transportation fuel. On a well-to-wheels or total lifecycle basis, the use of natural gas reduces carbon emissions by an estimated 20-25% compared with conventional transportation fuels. Natural gas is also a lower cost fuel. Fleets benefit from a fuel that is typically 20-30% less expensive than crude oil-based fuels.
Natural gas has less energy by volume than liquid fuels, so driving range is an important consideration for fleets that are considering natural gas. For many return-to-base fleets, typical daily mileage needs can be met using natural gas vehicles. Natural gas may also provide a niche solution for fleets whose vehicles operate in regional corridors where refuelling infrastructure exists.
Proven Station Technologies
Refuelling stations for natural gas vehicles incorporate proven commercial technologies that can be configured to meet a wide range of fleet needs. Decades of experience with equipment used for natural gas refuelling stations ensures safe, reliable, and efficient performance. Natural gas refuelling stations typically incorporate fuel storage and some degree of redundancy so that unexpected downtime on some equipment does not shut down the entire station. Well-established codes, standards, and regulations are in place to ensure the safe installation and operation of natural gas vehicle refuelling stations.
Stations may be private and installed on the fleet owner’s property or public that serve a range of vehicles. Private stations can also be configured with “outside the gate” public access which can provide a source of revenue for station owners. Fuelling times for natural gas can match fuelling times for liquid fuels. Return-to-base fleets have the option to use time fill systems involving multiple filling posts and simultaneous refuelling of all fleet vehicles on an overnight basis.
CNG or LNG?
Stations may dispense natural gas in compressed form (CNG), liquefied form (LNG) or both products may be offered at a single station. Public stations in Canada dispense CNG at 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi). Private stations have the option of dispensing CNG at pressures of up to 3,600 psi. There is no risk of over-pressurizing a natural gas vehicle as the connection is designed so that a 3,000 psi vehicle cannot refuel at a 3,600 psi station.
LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to -160° Celsius. In order to remain in a liquid state, the LNG must be stored on vehicles and in stations so that it is kept at this low temperature. LNG has greater energy density than CNG and is particularly well-suited for vehicles with high daily mileage requirements such as highway tractors.