Backed by a new provincial government clean air initiative, Empire Hydrogen is coming to the Okanagan to demonstrate their engine-air-pollution-reduction system.
On Oct. 31, the B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure announced a new CleanBC program to provide rebates for businesses to upgrade their vehicle fleets with greenhouse gas reduction equipment.
One producer of such equipment is Empire Hydrogen, based in Victoria. They will be visiting the Okanagan to promote and share information on their system with local businesses and individuals.
“We have been nine years in research and development, now we’re getting commercial production, and now there is this grant that the B.C. government is offering,” said Sven Tjelta, Empire Hydrogen’s chairman of the board.
Empire Hydrogen’s system works with any combustion engine, from trucks to generators, by injecting small amounts of hydrogen to encourage a more complete burn of fuel. In addition to cutting down on the amount of greenhouse gasses and unburned particles in the exhaust, the more efficient burn also helps keep the engine healthier.
“We had a Volkswagen with our system, and it reduced the emissions by 56 per cent,” said Tjelta. “But because of the size of the equipment, and the ease of installation, we specialize in larger vehicles and generators.”
The CleanBC program will offset the costs of the purchase and installation of the equipment, and Tjelta hopes that as people try out the equipment, the more that they will want them.
“That’s certainly the hope. We’re already looking at tentative orders for an African company for 3,000 units, and the United Arab Emirates for 2,800 for their busses. There’s very much interest, and hopefully, we’ll have a successful little company here.”
Tjelta is touring the Okanagan and presenting information about the system, and demonstrating it for those interested in upgrading their vehicles.
The sessions are scheduled to take place in Penticton on Nov. 21 at Theo’s Restaurant on Main Street, and in Oliver on Nov. 20 at Oliver Eats Ltd. on Station Street.
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