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B.C. announces weight allowance for low-carbon commercial vehicles


May 17, 2021
By Ground Water Canada

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Victoria – The B.C. government is expanding weight allowances for low-carbon commercial vehicles as incentive to encourage operators to “go green” with their fleets and help decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the commercial trucking sector.

The new allowance aims to offset the loss of payload capacity that commercial operators experience with greener vehicles. Low-carbon options weigh more than standard diesel trucks due to the size of their battery packs and hydrogen tanks.

To address this, B.C. is offering a 1,500 kg allowance to electrically powered, full-sized commercial vehicles and a 1,000 kg allowance to hydrogen-powered vehicles. To further support broad adoption, the government will make increases to maximum gross combination vehicle weight, up to 65,000 kg and 64,500 kg respectively. This is consistent with allowances already made for liquified natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelled trucks and buses.

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This move supports the Province’s CleanBC goal of ensuring an ever-greater portion of vehicles on B.C. roads are powered by electricity, hydrogen and renewables.

Currently, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles are responsible for about 50 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions from B.C.’s road transportation sector, the government’s news release said. They transport nearly 92 per cent of all consumer goods (by weight) in the province.

“Compared to low- and zero-carbon passenger vehicles, clean technology for heavy-duty vehicles is still in early development,” said Dave Earle, president and CEO, BC Trucking Association. “These weight allowances make low-emission options more affordable for the trucking companies and drivers serving communities across British Columbia.”

To track how many vehicles use extra weight, initially allowances will be available through letters of authorization. Following a 90-day notice period, CNG, LNG and LNG/diesel bi-fuelled vehicles will also be required to obtain letters of authorization.