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January 2018

ON: CPA Fights to Include Propane in Ontario's Green Commercial Vehicle Program

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Later this month, the CPA will continue the fight to have propane included in the Ontario Green Commercial Vehicle Program (GCVP). The CPA will be meeting with officials from the Office of Premier Wynne. This meeting follows previous discussions with the Office of the Minister of Transportation (MTO). 

The GCVP, which was announced in December, excluded propane, despite intense efforts by the CPA. At present, the GCVP will provide rebates towards the purchase of alternative-fuel vehicles and fuel saving devices. Eligible vehicles and devices are limited to electric and natural gas-powered trucks, aerodynamic and anti-idling devices, and electric refrigeration units. 

"The Canadian Propane Association (CPA) is extremely disappointed at the exclusion of propane from the GCVP," said CPA President Nathalie St-Pierre. "It is apparent that the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is rushing this program through approvals, with limited consultation, reliance on emissions data that is considerably out-of-date, and a lack of understanding of the commercial vehicle market. This haste and lack of rigour is unacceptable to our industry and should also be unacceptable to taxpayers and government officials. We will be taking that message to the Premier’s office."
 
The propane industry’s particular concerns with the program design and development:
  • MTO has used an emission calculation model from 2013, which appears to include propane data from several years prior to that;
  • Auto propane technology, efficiency and GHG emissions reductions have all advanced significantly since this data was produced;
  • The program wrongly assumes there is current, large-scale commercial availability of electric vehicles in the medium-duty classes;
  • Due to issues with diesel costs and technology, commercial fleet operators are switching to gasoline – these fleets should be encouraged to switch to propane instead; 
  •  Propane’s significant advantages over gasoline and diesel in the reduction of other emissions, such as those that cause smog and health issues, have not been considered; and
  • Natural gas vehicles are included in the program, despite propane and natural gas coming from the same source and having similar emissions profiles.
Recognized for its low environmental impact by Canada’s Alternative Fuels Act, propane is a cost-effective, globally-trusted and low-emission automotive energy option. It has many economic and environmental advantages over traditional and alternative vehicle fuels. The availability of propane technology and infrastructure, as well as the low cost for fleets adopting it as a fuel, means that propane can have an immediate positive impact on Ontario’s environment. 

"Given Ontario’s commitment to significantly reduce transportation emissions by 2020, excluding propane vehicles from the GCVP does not make sense," said St-Pierre. "It is essential that propane is a part of effective emission reduction schemes in the transportation sector. Quebec and other jurisdictions are committing to support propane vehicles, and Ontario must as well. The CPA wants MTO to include propane in an updated program plan."
 

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