Vancouver-based Ledcor Group of Companies announced it will take ownership of over two-hundred compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, creating one of the largest fleets of CNG vehicles in Canada. The 2014 and 2015 Ford Transit Connect cargo vans have been converted by G.W. Anglin Manufacturing to incorporate CNG fuel systems from Altech-Eco, making them the first vehicles of their kind. “Converting a significant portion of our light-duty vehicle fleet makes good economic sense for Ledcor and is aligned with our sustainability goals,” said Scott Lyons, COO, Ledcor Technical Services. “We estimate we’ll reduce our annual fuel costs by about 30 per cent and reduce our green-house-gas emissions by approximately 23 per cent or 2,000 tonnes of CO2e per year.”

Ledcor has invested over $10 million in natural gas vehicles to date. Each vehicle incurs a significant cost associated with converting the vehicle to run on CNG. The costs are partially offset by FortisBC’s incentive program, for the vehicles deployed to operate in British Columbia. Ledcor also owns fifteen class eight liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks. The CNG vehicles will be deployed throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. “By making a commitment to a compressed natural gas vehicle fleet, Ledcor is an innovator, benefitting the environment and our gas customers,” said Doug Stout, Vice-President, Market Development & External Relations at FortisBC. “Natural gas is a cleaner-burning, lower-priced fuel that is abundant in B.C., and we are dedicated to working with industry leaders like Ledcor to take advantage of the opportunities for this fuel source.”

Natural gas vehicles have significantly lower exhaust emissions then typical vehicles, including 70 – 90 per cent less carbon monoxide, 75 – 95 per cent less nitrogen oxides and 20 – 30 per cent less carbon dioxide. The vehicles also see less corrosion and wear in engine parts, resulting in a more durable, productive and reliable vehicle fleet. “Ledcor is setting the bar high and showing the way for other fleet owners in Canada. Not only was Ledcor one of the first fleet operators in Canada to operate factory-built natural gas highway tractors, its new fleet of Ford Transit Connect cargo vans is unprecedented in scale, making the company well-positioned to start to reap the benefits of lower cost fuel and a reduced environmental footprint from its operations,” said Alicia Milner, President of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance.

Pioneering an entirely new vehicle type presented many challenges for Ledcor and its suppliers, including crash testing a newly converted vehicle to meet Transport Canada requirements. “The arrival of the popular Transit Connect has given consumers a reliable, durable and versatile vehicle for small business proprietors and large fleets alike,” said Mike Traub, Director of Fleet Sales, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited. “We are thrilled to have Ledcor building its CNG project around our product as we continue to offer our fleet customers the power of choice that best suit their business needs.”

The Ledcor Group of Companies is a diversified construction company, serving the building, oil & gas, infrastructure, mining, power and communications sectors, and also has interests in other types of businesses.