Evidence of meeting #42 for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was vehicles.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

9:15 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Thank you.

I will now move on to the Roush Cleantech representative.

I see that you are working with Ford. Can we expect to see you working with Ford in the very near future on a family car that uses your technology?

9:20 a.m.

Vice-President, Alternative Fuels, Roush Cleantech

Todd Mouw

That's a very good question.

Our focus has been more on the commercial vehicles. Ford today provides what they call a gaseous fuel prep package, which hardens valves and seats for propane and natural gas. At this point, they have not taken that technology into the consumer passenger car. I do see it evolving to that. I think Ford shares our belief that it will lead with fleets; and as there is more infrastructure and as fleets bring more awareness to consumers, there will be a demand for consumer-type vehicles to run on propane auto gas. I would estimate that probably in the next 24 to 30 months you would see a propane-type car from Ford with our technology in it.

9:20 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

The Europeans seem to be ahead of us North Americans. Just one of the advantages is that consumers, themselves, can fill up their tanks. I am not sure whether they can do so at home, and therefore have their own fuelling stations.

Where are we on this technology in North America?

9:20 a.m.

Vice-President, Alternative Fuels, Roush Cleantech

Todd Mouw

Today the fleets we target are more hub and spoke and they would have their own private fuelling infrastructure. Vehicles go out and come back at night. For the consumer, our belief is that it would be like in Europe. They can pull up to a fuel station and get gasoline, diesel or LPG. Again I think it is an evolution, and probably in the next four to six years you will start to see stations.

I don't know the terminology here in Canada, but the BPs of the world, the Shells, and the Conocos will have gasoline, diesel, and LPG, so that consumers can pull right up just like they do today and get propane auto gas 24 hours a day. I do see that coming. There are some challenges that we need to get resolved and hurdles that we need to clear before we can go there, as Cameron mentioned in his presentation.

Some of the rules and regulations just don't make sense. Today in the United States, I have to wear gloves and goggles to fuel a propane vehicle. There is no emission when I fill that vehicle. In Europe, a quick connect nozzle is used. Any consumer can pull up and fill their vehicle. They're not wearing gloves and goggles. I think it's a misperception issue and it's an educational issue.

9:20 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

I am not sure if this is a case of the chicken or the egg, but I do wonder whether it will take refuelling stations or greater consumer demand, or both at the same time, before this market can expand. I can't really see how fuelling infrastructure could develop without any consumer demand, and vice versa.

9:20 a.m.

Vice-President, Alternative Fuels, Roush Cleantech

Todd Mouw

That's a great point. I think that's why you see companies like us targeting commercial companies like Canada Post and UPS. From a propane perspective, it's very cost-effective to put in fuelling infrastructure. It's typically cheaper than gasoline and diesel. At that point, we believe that once consumers see Canada Post, UPS, Frito-Lay and Coke running propane powered vehicles, they will understand that it's safe. They will understand the cost benefits of running it, and then they will demand the OEMs for GM, Chrysler, and such to produce vehicles, which will then also drive demand for fuelling infrastructure.

The benefit of propane, as Steve mentioned earlier, is the cost to put the infrastructure in. That's an easy one for propane auto gas compared to some of the other technologies that are out there today.

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Merv Tweed

Thank you, Mr. Aubin.

9:20 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

I'm already out of time?

9:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Merv Tweed

Monsieur Coderre.

9:20 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

I was on a roll again.

9:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Again, again, I know.

First of all, Mr. Mouw, I noticed that in 2011 you won Green Fleet's Sustainable All-Star award. What is it?

9:20 a.m.

Vice-President, Alternative Fuels, Roush Cleantech

Todd Mouw

It's a publication in the United States that promotes organizations or people who are out promoting the use of alternative fuels versus conventional fuels.

9:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

So you're a good promoter.

9:20 a.m.

Vice-President, Alternative Fuels, Roush Cleantech

Todd Mouw

I'm trying, yes.

9:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

I noticed that.

Mr. Stewart, or Mr. Mouw, why do the insurance companies have such problems with the safety issue with propane?