MONTREAL—GE Capital and Gaz Métro Transport Solutions have announced a strategic agreement that will push the trucking industry’s adoption of natural gas in Eastern Canada forward. GE has provided financing to Canada’s trucking industry for 35 years, while Gaz Metro, Quebec’s largest natural gas distributor, created Transport Solutions in 2010 to encourage the industry to switch to natural gas. It operates the first network of natural gas fueling stations in Canada.
Under the agreement, fleet operators will work with GMTS for natural gas supply and purchase, and separately with GE Capital to secure loans or leases for natural gas vehicles. NGVs that are eligible under the agreement use either compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas.
“As someone with nearly a decade of experience in the transportation industry, I understand how critical it is for fleet operators to reduce their fuel costs. To remain competitive, they need to cut 3 per cent to 5 per cent annually just to keep up with the market,” said Véronique Haché, strategic initiative leader for natural gas vehicles at GE Capital. “Transitioning to natural gas is a smart way to diversify their fuel portfolios and reduce those costs. Through this agreement, we’re giving trucking company leaders the financial motivation to make the shift from diesel to nat-gas.”
Fuel is one of the highest costs in the trucking industry, amounting to as much as 40 per cent of a trucking company’s expenses. Moreover, CNG and LNG can cost up to 30 per cent less than diesel, and according to the International Energy Agency, this gap should remain for many years to come.
Natural gas engines also allow trucking companies to reduce their environmental footprint because natural gas emits up to 25 per cent less greenhouse gas than diesel.
“This agreement reinforces GMTS’s turn-key approach by adding a financial partner to accompany the fleet operators in their transition to natural gas,” said Luc Génier, president of the board of directors of GMTS. “We are confident that combining our respective expertise will have a positive effect on the adoption of natural gas as a fuel for the trucking industry in Eastern Canada.”