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Operators with gas-powered trucks should be rewarded: GEA

Incentives needed to move trucking toward gas-powered vehicles, Gas Energy Australia says


The peak lobby group representing the gaseous fuel industry believes transport operators running gas-powered trucks should be rewarded.

Gas Energy Australia (GEA) says financial incentives are needed to encourage people to switch to gas to curb carbon emissions.

GEA recently urged New South Wales to link light vehicle registration fees to the amount of pollution a car produces to encourage the uptake of gas-powered cars, and supports a similar approach toward trucks.

“Heavy vehicles that run on gas should be recognised for the fact that they are contributing to carbon abatement and are far more environmentally friendly,” GEA CEO Mike Carmody told ATN.

“There should be recognition that gas-powered vehicles offer a contribution to carbon abatement, as compared to those that run on petrol or diesel.”

There are moves to encourage the trucking industry to switch to gas, with AGL Energy earlier this year announcing it will install compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling facilities across eastern Australia.

Carmody says light trucks and buses generally use CNG, while liquefied natural gas (LNG) is preferred for linehaul operations.

However, he says CNG and LNG are in emerging states of development and that government support is necessary to increase their uptake.

“There needs to be some incentive to move our heavy fleets off diesel and on to gas and in these very early days while we’re building infrastructure and getting supply in place we’d be seeking some support from government,” he says.

“In the CNG and LNG space we have significant challenges in areas of infrastructure supply and the vehicle itself and we’ve got to work very closely with the big fleets and we’ve got to work very closely with government.”

GEA earlier this month lodged a submission in response to the NSW Government’s discussion paper on providing registration initiatives for light vehicles.

The submission recommended a new registration system based on environmental criteria instead of vehicle weight.

Carmody says cars running on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) produce 10 to 16 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than cars equipped with petrol or diesel engines, while CNG-powered cars produce 25 per cent fewer emissions.

“Motorists who choose to purchase less polluting cars should be rewarded, and linking registration charges to a car’s environmental performance is one way to do that,” he says.

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