Dual-fuel vehicles join Union Gas service fleet

Affordable, clean fuel, advanced technology make natural gas ideal choice for business

CHATHAM, ON, June 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Five dual-fuel vehicles have joined the service fleet at Union Gas' head office, in a move designed to take full advantage of affordable natural gas prices and advancements in vehicle technology.

The vehicles - a Ford Escape and three Ford trucks that use compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline and an International vocational truck that uses CNG and diesel - were converted late last year. They are being used by the company's Lands department and utility service representatives in the Chatham area.

Natural gas prices are lower today than they have been in the past decade and they're projected to stay affordable for some time to come, offering a significant advantage over gasoline and diesel. Natural gas is also significantly cleaner than gasoline and diesel. The converted Union Gas vehicles are expected to save between 25 to 30 per cent in fuel costs and also to reduce CO2 emissions by 28 per cent.

"Natural gas is cleaner and more affordable than gas or diesel, making it the fuel of choice for businesses with service fleets looking to cut costs and emissions," Union Gas president Steve Baker said today as he unveiled the vehicles at the company's head office. "There's never been a better time for Ontario businesses to make the move to a CNG fleet."

CNG is an ideal fuel for "return-to-base" vehicles, such as delivery trucks and maintenance vehicles that travel fewer than 500 kilometres a day. Thanks to tremendous technological advancements in the CNG vehicle business over the past 30 years, companies have a wide variety of options for how to adopt the technology, depending on business needs. Options include:

  • Purchasing CNG vehicles directly from the manufacturer (for any purposes, size, horsepower, etc.), with the same factory warranty, standard performance, etc.
  • Choosing from a number of aftermarket conversion products.
  • Choosing from a dual-fuel engine, a 100% dedicated spark ignited engine, or a High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) engine (which uses a small amount of diesel to ignite the natural gas). A dedicated spark ignited engine can cut fuel costs by 30 to 50 per cent.
  • Installing fueling stations that can serve an entire fleet, or buying smaller units and growing fueling station capabilities over time, sharing fueling stations with neighbouring businesses.

Companies that move to a CNG fleet may see a return on investment in as little as two to three years.

As a company committed to environmental conservation, Union Gas has introduced a number of other initiatives focused on reducing vehicle-related emissions, including an anti-idling policy for employees who drive for work purposes, a corporate car-sharing program and preferred parking for carpools at its head office.

About Union Gas
Union Gas Limited is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with 100 years of experience and service to customers. The distribution business serves about 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in more than 400 communities across northern, southwestern and eastern Ontario. One of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013, Union Gas is a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company with assets of $5.8 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. For more information, visit uniongas.com.

SOURCE: Union Gas Limited

For further information:

Union Gas
Andrea Stass
Manager, External Communications and Media Relations
Ph: 519 436-5490 or 1-800-571-8446 ext. 5005490
Cell: 519 365-1010

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