Government of Canada Endorses CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero Program

Canada is joined by Province of British Columbia, City of Vancouver, City of Helmond, California Energy Commission, Chile Sustainable Energy Agency and BAE Systems as Latest Pledge Partners of Drive to Zero

CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero welcomes first nation member at CEM10/MI-4

VANCOUVER, Canada – As part of its growing momentum CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero (Drive to Zero) today was officially endorsed by the Government of Canada, becoming the first nation to do so. Canada was joined by several new pledge partners including the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, the City of Helmond, the California Energy Commission, the Chile Sustainable Energy Agency and BAE Systems.

The new partners were announced today at Drive to Zero’s workshop at the Tenth Clean Energy Ministerial and Fourth Mission Innovation Ministerial (CEM10/MI-4) in Vancouver, which was co-hosted by Clean Energy Canada and the City of Vancouver. Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced Canada’s decision to endorse Drive to Zero this afternoon as part of a suite of policy announcements at the workshop.

“I am so pleased to announce Canada is joining the Drive to Zero pledge,” Minister McKenna just announced. Minister Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and the host nation minister for CEM 10 commented on the importance of the step.

“Reducing pollution and improving the competitiveness of the transportation sector, including commercial vehicles, is a priority for the Government of Canada. We are proud to endorse the Global Commercial Drive to Zero pledge, bringing us one step closer to a clean energy future,” said Minister Sohi.

“The Drive to Zero Pledge is in line with our efforts and commitment to support the transition to cleaner renewable fuels and low-emission vehicles. Vancouver is proud to continue our efforts in advancing policies that are already supportive and encourage near zero emissions with the opportunity to collaborate with others across industry and government,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

Drive to Zero is a strategic international initiative designed to catalyze the growth of the zero-emission (ZE) and near-zero-emission (NZ) medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sector (MHDV), which includes everything from transit buses to eighteen wheelers to box trucks to school buses. Pledge partners promise to collaboratively put in place supporting mechanisms to speed the early market for these vehicles and equipment. Read the full Drive to Zero pledge here.

Canada is the first national and British Columbia is the first provincial level government to sign the Drive to Zero pledge since its inception in September 2018. Vancouver has actively engaged to support Drive to Zero’s mission, goals and the Vancouver workshop, while fostering valuable connections between Drive to Zero and key allies in Canada.

“Canada is well-positioned to be among the leaders transitioning to zero-emission commercial fleets, delivering both environmental and economic benefits. We’re a big country and we move a lot of freight by truck. We’re also a heavily urban country, and as cities grow, more is being invested in public transit. Shifting to zero-emission trucks and buses, many of which are made right here in Canada, will cut both carbon pollution and fuel costs. It’s a win-win,” said Merran Smith, Executive Director of Clean Energy Canada.

The California Energy Commission solidifies the State of California’s support for Drive to Zero as the body joins several other Golden State partners in taking the pledge including the California Air Resources Board.

“We are truly honored that these global transportation innovators recognize the value of tackling this critical sector collaboratively and strategically with the support of the Drive to Zero program,” said John Boesel CEO and President of CALSTART. CALSTART is a US nonprofit consortium that partners with 210+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient and clean high-tech transportation industry. Drive to Zero is a program of CALSTART.

Drive to Zero unites key regions of change, along with leading manufacturers and fleet users, to collaboratively speed adoption through requirements, policies, incentives, investments and infrastructure that support early market success.

Drive to Zero’s goal is to drive market viability for the clean MHDV sector in key urban communities by 2025 and achieve full market penetration by 2040.

It is built upon a technology strategy, called the beachhead strategy, that identifies the commercial vehicle market segments where zero- and near-zero technology is likely to succeed first. Those early successes drive pathways into new segments where the technology can flourish next.

Our strategy from the research is clear: target the right vehicles for first market success, in the right order for sustainable industry growth, in the right regions embracing and supporting change,” said Bill Van Amburg, Executive Vice President of CALSTART and head of the Drive to Zero Program. “Increasingly this strategy is making sense to government and industry partners world-wide searching for smart, coordinated ways to work together and drive change. We are honored by Canada’s strong support and how this helps us take Drive to Zero to the next level.”

“The growing availability of clean fuels and clean vehicles in key transportation markets has provided the critical real-world deployment experience to enable greater market share,” said Karen Hamberg, Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs at   Westport Fuel Systems and Chair of CALSTART’s Board of Directors. “But we must go faster! We must enact the next regulatory frameworks, policies, partnerships and strategies to accelerate and expand commercialization and bring more of these technologies to scale. That’s what Drive to Zero is all about.”

Drive to Zero is developing tools, identifying best practices, eliminating barriers, and coordinating among stakeholders to ensure success of beachhead markets. Today CALSTART is offering a first look at the beta version of one such toolkit to Vancouver attendees. The toolkit, contains a Policy and Action Guide, a Vehicle Availability Tool and Total Cost of Ownership Calculator. Visit the new Drive to Zero website to access the Policy and Action Guide today and the Vehicle Availability Tool and Total Cost of Ownership Calculator in the coming weeks.

To date Drive to Zero is working collaboratively with C40, EV100, the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance, Clean Energy Canada and partners in the Netherlands, China, India and Canada as well as the 50 industry and international leaders who have already taken the Drive to Zero pledge.

Over the next five years, Drive to Zero and its participants will focus on sharing information, identifying best practices, eliminating barriers, and coordinating among stakeholders to ensure success of beachhead markets in regions in Asia, North and South America and Europe. If you would like to take the pledge, visit our website.

CALSTART | Changing transportation for good

A national nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado and California, CALSTART partners with 210+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient and clean high-tech transportation industry. We knock out barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.

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