Alternative Energy and Fuels
Fleets are considering ways to lower their carbon and smog-related emissions. Alternative fuels can be an option for many fleets to reduce both types of emissions, and in some cases, lower fuel costs.
Some fuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol blends, can be used in conventional combustion engines with no modifications to the engine or fuel system. Other alternative fuels, such as propane and natural gas, require some modifications to the engines as well as the fuel handling and storage systems. All types of fleets in BC have used each of these fuels with success.
Hydrogen is a new fuel being used in limited application in British Columbia. Fuel cells are the primary method of using hydrogen since the only emission is water from a tailpipe. The technology was notably used in buses brought to BC in advance of the 2010 Winter and Paralympic Olympic Games.
Hybrid electric vehicles have gained tremendous ground over the past decade, and plug-in electric vehicles are new but drawing great interest. For an example of recent rollouts in British Columbia, see Plug-in BC.
Key factors when considering using an alternative fuel include:
Surrey Gas Stations Go Greener
All new service stations in Surrey, BC will soon offer at least one alternative fuel source, such as hydrogen, compressed natural gas, or electric vehicle recharging, in addition to conventional gasoline, diesel and propane. The change will help create infrastructure for greener vehicles. Photo courtesy of Picture BC.