May 08, 2021
Swift Mobile Concept: No Network, No Problem
No need to build your own CNG station to refuel your vehicles at home. Or even to be connected to the gas network. The Swift mobile refueling unit, newly offered in Quebec by Ontario ComTech Energy, is a station that comes to trucks and not the other way around.
Two 20-foot containers on a trailer: that's all it takes to make up to 65 loads of dump trucks or 35 loads of short cab (day cab) trucks overnight. One is a 75 HP hydraulic compressor that is as efficient as it is energy efficient, and the other holds 3600 psi CNG tanks that you can just fill in CNG stations when empty. Good thing, many of these stations are underused during the day. The tanks can also be filled with renewable natural gas, and it also works with hydrogen. In short, the whole concept is flexibility and modularity to evolve with customer needs.
Soon offered in service stations on the Trans-Canada Highway to run on CNG to Alberta, and already adopted by several Ontario carriers in its first year of commercialization, the Swift concept was installed this winter in the parking lot of a collection company. of waste from the South Shore of Montreal, a first in Quebec.
“Their industry is ideal for CNG since they make the same routes every day within a radius of less than 100 km. But they only operate fifteen trucks on land that is leased, so it made no sense to invest in permanent installations even if the gas pipeline is nearby,” underlines Marie-Geneviève Poitras, vice-president, sales and marketing at ComTech Energy. “Without the Swift, they simply wouldn't have converted their fleet."
Far from replacing permanent stations (ComTech Energy has built the largest in the country, Calgary Transit), Swift is a complementary solution for those who cannot afford to develop a station on their own.
No need for excavation, everything is external. No need for a license, the Swift already has its own. No need for capital, it's an operational expense. The only commitment is to convert their trucks, which simplifies change management in a CNG conversion project.
"The Swift can be used profitably with just a few trucks, without having to make projections on the evolution of the fleet at maturity, and without forcing it to stay in the same place," says Marie-Geneviève Poitras. And since the tank container is filled at stations that have signed commitments with natural gas distributors, the Swift gives smaller businesses the same discounts as larger ones. "We really want to make CNG accessible to everyone," said Madame Poitras.
In fact, large companies also benefit. A recent victory for ComTech Energy is to have convinced a notoriously conservative American multinational to make the jump to CNG, she adds.
“People in the industry would ask us: how did you manage to convince them? They had been trying for years without success. In large companies listed on the stock exchange, it is difficult to institute changes. But with us, they can take it step by step, one truck at a time."