Drive to Zero Newsletter – August 2020

Dear Drive to Zero Pledge Partners and Allies:

Despite health, political and social instability, we need to remain committed to transforming our industry with zero-emission technologies to support clean jobs, clean air, and climate action. Although the UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties (COP-26) was postponed to 2021, some regions are leveraging COVID-19 recovery and stimulus packages to spur climate action and strengthen the Paris commitments made in 2015. CALSTART/Drive to Zero is working with key partners including the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance (TDA) and Climate Group/EV100 to support leading nations to adopt ambitious targets for zero-emission commercial vehicles ahead of COP-26. To support these goals, I am proud to announce that Drive to Zero is being recognized as an official Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) campaign as part of their Electric Vehicle Initiative during CEM’s annual meeting this coming September.

– Cristiano Façanha, Global Director, CALSTART/Drive to Zero

Drive to Zero Program Progress and Updates

  • Together with the TDA and Climate Group/EV100, CALSTART/Drive to Zero is organizing a digital dialogue on Thursday September 3 at 10am Pacific between commercial fleets and manufacturers on how to speed the availability of zero-emission freight trucks and vans in North America. Please register here. Equivalent dialogues in Europe and India are also being organized during the same week. The lessons from these 3 regional dialogues will be featured on September 22 at 8am Pacific at Climate Week NYC 2020. (LINK)
  • Also at Climate Week NYC 2020, CALSTART/Drive to Zero program will host an online workshop to highlight the most instrumental drivers of commercial vehicle market transformation. Fleet, manufacturer, environmental justice, and NGO voices will discuss what leading states and cities can do equitably now to drive market transformation and deliver cleaner air for their communities. Join us on Wednesday, September 23 at 9am Eastern. (LINK)
  • CALSTART/Drive to Zero gathered insights in video interviews from key pledge partners, including Clean Energy Canada, the Automotive Center of Expertise, the Västra Götalandsregionen in Sweden and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency about the most effective policies and actions to support zero-emission commercial vehicles (preceding links lead to interviews).
  • Join us every Friday at 11am Pacific for a live 30-minute webcast on the latest in clean transportation news. Hosted by CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg, Executive Vice President, and Alycia Gilde, Senior Director, we bring you the innovation leaders who are changing transportation for good. (LINK)

News Updates

International governments are exploring new programs and policies to accelerate zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption:

  • British Columbia’s CleanBC program is offering businesses and organizations rebates of up to $50,000 per vehicle through its Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive (SUVI) program. Eligible specialty-use vehicles include electric passenger buses, airport and port service vehicles, motorcycles, low-speed utility trucks, and heavy-duty transport trucks.
  • Seoul plans to ban diesel-powered vehicles from its public fleet including transit buses, refuse trucks, and other specialty vehicles. The new ZEV public fleet will be in place in 2025 and will support the incorporation of hydrogen fuel technologies where applicable.
  • The Hungarian government’s Green Bus Program will require cities with more than 25,000 residents to convert half their transit bus fleet to low-carbon technologies by 2030. The government is developing a financial incentive to support the transition.

And speaking of transitions, the United Kingdom has elected to preserve existing regulations for vehicle greenhouse gas emissions as the nation completes the Brexit process. The vehicle regulations, which were originally developed by the European Union, incentivize the sale of ZEVs. The United Kingdom also intends to continue its intended ban on the sale of new gasoline-and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035. Oil producer Shell argues projects that the ban could be introduced as early as 2030 with supportive government incentives for zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure.

The most cost-effective infrastructure for reducing MHDV emissions may include on-road dynamic charging, such as catenary systems or electrified roads. These systems could complement a proposed “hydrogen backbone” that European gas operators say would use existing gas pipelines to provide plentiful hydrogen across the continent. For now, the European Union is supporting more conventional ZEV operations by financially supporting the “BIG-MAP” project to reduce battery costs and develop new battery technologies.

Please share new information, potential partners, and innovative practices to achieve our Drive to Zero goals at, and feel free to share this newsletter with others.

Dan Welch, Senior Project Manager, CALSTART

News Story Links

Events / Reports

  • CTE releases new guidebook for deploying zero-emission buses (LINK)
  • ‘E-highways’ could slash UK road freight emissions (LINK)
  • Trucking companies, fuel distributors eager to embrace hydrogen fuel cell technology (LINK)

 Fleet Deployments

  • Nikola stock surges on order for 2,500 electric garbage trucks (LINK)
  • Anheuser-Busch transitioning dedicated fleet to renewable natural gas as part of ongoing leadership in sustainable logistics (LINK)
  • Yutong sends 130 battery-powered trolleybuses to Mexico (LINK)
  • Hamburger Hochbahn awards contract for 530 e-buses (LINK)

 Manufacturers and Models: Trucks and Buses

  • DB Schenker using Mercedes-Benz eActros electric heavy-duty truck for city-center deliveries in Leipzig (LINK)

 Manufacturers and Models: Port Equipment and Off-Road

  • Red Hook terminals to deploy largest electric truck fleet on US East Coast (LINK)

 Financial Incentives

  • B.C. businesses can go electric with rebates for specialized vehicles (LINK)

 Government Policies

  • Shell says U.K. can bring forward gasoline car sale ban to 2030 (LINK)
  • UK to remain with EU CO2 emission regulations (LINK)
  • Hungary to decarbonize public transport per decree (LINK)
  • Seoul bans diesel vehicles from public sector fleets by 2025 (LINK)
  • Ten cities, thousand fuel cell vehicles? China is sketching a roadmap for hydrogen vehicles (LINK)

 Fuels & Infrastructure

  • Penske truck leasing continues to expand heavy-duty electric vehicle charging network (LINK)
  • Gas grid operators unveil plan for European hydrogen infrastructure ‘backbone’ (LINK)
  • GM & EVgo to build 2,700 fast charging stations by 2025 (LINK)

 Utility Policies

  • SCE Announces 2030 goals for electrifying its vehicle fleet (LINK)
  • Hawaiian electric proposes accelerating electric bus adoption (LINK)

 Batteries & Technology

  • New EU project to boost battery development (LINK)
  • London bus depot becomes world’s largest V2G trial site (LINK)


  • Air pollution is much worse than we thought (LINK)
  • What contains 3 times more energy than gasoline, but produces zero CO2? (LINK)