June 2020 Drive to Zero Newsletter

Welcome to the June 2020 Edition of the Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero Newsletter! As always, please share new information, potential partners, and innovative practices to achieve Drive to Zero goals at info@globaldrivetozero.org. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others. 

Dan Welch
Senior Project Manager

Program Progress and Actions 

New Pledge Partner AlertSeveral companies have joined us in the pledge to drive to zero-emission commercial vehicles, including electric freight and work truck upfitter SEA Electricstartup freight OEM Arrival, and mobile power station manufacturer Dannar. We also welcome electric utility San Diego Gas & ElectricThrough the Power Your Drive for Fleets program, SDG&E plans on electrifying about 3,000 medium and heavy duty vehicles in the San Diego region and offering an innovative rate to make charging these vehicles more accessible. Thank you all for joining us, we look forward to working with you to make zero-emission commercial vehicles a global reality! 

  • CALSTART’s Drive to Zero program unveiled the first in a series of analytical releases highlighting new trends in the global zero-emission commercial vehicle segment. New data from theDrive to Zeroprogram’s Zero-Emission Technology Inventory (ZETI), finds the number of available and announced models of zero-emission trucks, buses and off-road equipment in the United States and Canada is on track to rise nearly 78 percent by the end of 2020 compared to year-end 2019 – and that figure is expected to more than double by 2023. 
  • An updated version of the Drive to Zero program’s Policies and Actions Toolkit is now available. A portfolio of the key policies, incentives and investments governments and industry can take to spur faster near- and zero-emission commercial vehicle deployment, the Toolkit has grown by roughly 50 percent, adding new policies, actions and categories of drivers for ZE commercial vehicles. 
  • Want to learn about opportunities to transition truck fleets to zero-emissions in the Northeastern United States? Join us on June 25 from 9:00am to 10:30am EDT to hear from CALSTART’s Northeast Director Ben Mandel and other regional experts about the programs that provide significant discounts on zero-emission commercial vehicle purchases and support for infrastructure. 
  • CALSTART is offering a weekly series of virtual updates on clean transportation news. Join Executive Vice President Bill Van Amburg and Senior Director of Fuels and Infrastructure Alycia Gilde every Friday at 11:00am PDT to hear about key industry issues and the latest information that is moving our industry forward for good. Visit this link to register for upcoming presentations and to access recordings of previous presentations. 

CALSTART’s Global Commercial Drive to Zero’ program’s Zero-Emission Technology Inventory tracks the growth of the zero-emission commercial vehicle segment globally.

News Updates 

Manufacturers are moving forward to develop all-electric pickup trucks and heavier, commercial applications despite pausing or canceling some all-electric passenger vehicle models amid pandemic concernsRivian, a startup that manufacturers all-electric SUVs and vansexpects to meet production goals for Amazon’s order of 100,000 delivery vans (for more from Rivian on the hidden value of clean heavier vehicles and why policy is needed to sustain the industry, check out the second half of this podcast). Hydrogen truck manufacturer Nikola netted more than $700 million in a merger with VectoIQ Acquisition Corp.  The now-publicly traded company has more than $10 billion in fleet pre-orders ahead of the planned roll out of its battery-electric truck in 2021 and fuel-cell truck in 2023.  

Despite COVID-19 concerns, manufacturers are encouraged by fleets’ plans for transitioning to zero-emissions to reduce costs and meet existing and proposed regulations, such as the upcoming California’s Advanced Clean Truck rule or government bans on the sale or operation of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. 

The City of London is reintroducing its low and ultra-low emission zone regulations that provide financial incentives for zero-emissions vehicle operators as a fundraising scheme to support its transit system, which is operating without fares during the pandemic. Delivery vehicle operators in London may be heartened to see the results of a recent pilot project that found all-electric vehicles were less expensive to operate than diesel-powered counterparts.  

For trips outside of London, the U.K. Department for Transport has issued targets for corridor charging installationsstarting with six high-powered public chargers (150-350kW capable) by 2023 and expanding to 6,000 high-powered chargers by 2035.  The government’s efforts may be supported by initiatives such as U.K. electric utility Octopus Energy, which recently announced a program that will streamline the process of public charging and open all stations to any network. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to introduce a new low-cost, long-life battery that will be capable of operating a Model 3 over a “million miles.” The new battery revises Tesla’s current battery components, structure, and costs and would enable the automaker to vastly scale up production. These battery improvements build upon Tesla and Panasonic’s achievement of turning a profit at the original Nevada “Gigafactory” during the first quarter of 2020, which will soon expand production.  

Competitors within the zero-emission storage space are also joining expanding production capacity – Norwegian company Morrow Batteries is building a factory that will have a total production capacity of 32 Gigawatt hours by 2024, and German fuel cell manufacturing project is making sufficient progress to expect annual production of 10,000 to 30,000 fuel cell stacks. A Norwegian joint venture is planning for the end-life of all these batteries with a recycling station that will harvest the component materials used in EV batteries and aluminum from the vehicles.   


Events / Reports 

    • Choice of zero-emission commercial models will double from 2019 to 2023 (LINK) 
    • Plugging In: Electric Trucks in the Northeast (LINK) 
    • London trial finds electric vans viable alternative to diesel (LINK) 
    • An online platform launched to monitor e-bus deployment advancements in Latin America (LINK) 
    • The end of the road? An overview of combustion-engine car phase-out announcements across Europe (LINK) 
    • Matching electric buses with optimal routes – A new tool that helps make good decisions (LINK) 

Fleet Deployments 

  • Keolis orders 20 electric buses for use in Odense (LINK) 
  • Scania to Deliver up to 75 Electric Trucks to ASKO in 2020-2022 (LINK) 
  • BYD to supply fleet of articulated e-buses to Brazil (LINK) 
  • Solaris delivers 50 electric articulated buses to Krakow (LINK) 
  • Miami pilots e-cargo bikes to reduce congestion, pollution (LINK) 


  • Electric trucks are the ‘inevitable future,’ fleets say (LINK) 
  • Electric Trucks Could Prove Pivotal in EV Survival Through Downturn (LINK) 
  • ‘Current’ trends in heavy-duty electric trucking (LINK) 
  • A look at electric Class 8 trucks on the horizon (LINK) 

Manufacturers and Models: Trucks and Buses 

  • Hydrogen truck maker Nikola Is Ready for Its Nasdaq Debut (LINK) 
  • MAZ unveils electric bus with ZF technology (LINK) 
  • VW Commercial Vehicles launches electric van in the UK (LINK) 
  • Rivian to stick to Amazon deadline despite pandemic (LINK) 
  • Watch BYD EV Garbage Truck as It Silently Picks Up Your Trash (LINK) 

Manufacturers and Models: Port Equipment and Off-Road 

  • Gaussin & Total create electric aircraft-refueling truck (LINK) 

Government Policies 

  • Government vision for the rapid chargepoint network in England (LINK) 
  • York willing to become UK’s first zero-emission city (LINK) 
  • How to Jump-Start a Stalled Electric Vehicle Market (LINK) 

Financial Incentives 

  • Coronavirus: London congestion charge brought back with price rise (LINK) 

Fuels & Infrastructure 

  • Startup Presses Ahead with Pilot Projects to Electrify Roads (LINK) 
  • Developer plans to build hydrogen plant that runs on waste in Southern California (LINK) 
  • Huber+Suhner presents 500 kW charging cable (LINK) 
  • ABB to supply e-truck charging infrastructure in Norway (LINK) 
  • China publishes wireless charging standard GB/T 38775 (LINK) 

Utility Policies 

  • Octopus launches new UK charging service (LINK) 

Batteries & Technology 

  • Exclusive: Tesla’s secret batteries aim to rework the math for electric cars and the grid (LINK) 
  • Tesla Gigafactory 1 could grow as partner Panasonic reports more profits (LINK) 
  • Norway will become home to 32 GWh battery cell plant (LINK) 
  • Scandinavian joint venture to specialize in recycling electric vehicle batteries (LINK) 
  • Autostack Industrie makes progress on fuel cell stacks (LINK) 
  • Daimler expands battery production starting in Kamenz (LINK)