Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel

Natural gas provides a viable transportation fuel source for Canadians

Using natural gas as a fuel source is well-suited for return-to-base and regional corridor fleets and has many benefits including:

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent to 19 per cent when compared to diesel (Source: Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance)
  • Fuel cost savings of up to 30 per cent to 40 per cent, per kilometre
  • Quieter vehicles providing less noise in urban settings
  • Lower levels of air pollutants

Natural gas has less energy by volume than diesel fuel so it must be compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) in order to store enough energy for adequate driving range. The choice of whether to use CNG or LNG depends on vehicle requirements and product availability.

Calgary Transit Natural Gas Bus

Key facts

  • There are more than 12,000 natural gas vehicles in Canada.
  • Fuel savings over 40 per cent when used as an alternate fuel source for transportation, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 20 to 25 per cent as compared to diesel. Natural gas vehicles produce 18 per cent less smog pollutants.

Canadian success stories

A number of Canadian companies have fleets using natural gas as their fuel choice including:

  • BC Ferries- In 2017, BC Ferries introduced new vessels capable of running on liquefied natural gas and producing fewer GHG emissions.
  • Robert Trucking - Natural gas fuels 15 per cent of their transport fleet that travel between Ontario and Quebec along the Highway 401 and Autoroute 20 corridor.
  • Calgary Transit - In 2013, the City of Calgary introduced natural gas buses into their public transit fleet. With funding support from the Government of Canada, the City of Calgary is constructing a new storage and maintenance facility for the city’s fleet of natural gas buses. The facility will house up to 400 business and provide on-site natural gas storage and distribution infrastructure.
  • Waste Management - Waste Management is the largest operator of natural gas refuse collection trucks in North America with a fleet of more than 2,000 trucks that operate on natural gas. The company has two Canadian natural gas projects operating in British Columbia and Ontario.
  • Enbridge Gas Distribution - Enbridge operates more than 600 natural gas vehicles in Canada and is supported by 32 retail fuel stations. In Ontario, Enbridge operates six natural gas employee van pools that reduces 262 tonnes of CO2 year.