Drive to Zero Newsletter – September 2020

Dear Drive to Zero Pledge Partners and Allies:

This month marks a momentous milestone for us. Drive to Zero was officially recognized as a new Campaign of the Clean Energy Ministerial under the Electric Vehicle Initiative, paving the way for much closer engagement with a number of nations. Canada, Chile, China, Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have all agreed to work together with Drive to Zero to accelerate the deployment of zero- and near-zero emission commercial vehicles. With participation from four continents, together we will accelerate the transition to zero-emission technologies and achieve a better climate and air quality while spurring technology innovation.

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

Drive to Zero Program Progress and Updates

Drive to Zero Featured as Impactful Global Campaign

The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) officially recognized Drive to Zero as a new Campaign under its Electric Vehicle Initiative (EVI) during a pre-event ahead of CEM’s 11th annual meeting next week. CEM is a high-level global forum to promote policies and programs that advance clean energy technology, to share lessons learned and best practices, and to encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy. The group is composed of 27 of the world’s largest and most influential governments, several of which have recently joined Drive to Zero (see below). Check out this terrific video featuring several of our prominent partners narrated by our very own Executive Vice President Bill Van Amburg that was shown at CEM’s pre-event. (LINK)

National Government Pledges Expand

The Drive to Zero effort has grown substantially over the past year. In addition to dozens of new companies, organizations, and government agencies at the city, state, and provincial levels, the nations of Canada, Chile, China, Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden have agreed to work together to accelerate the market for zero- and near-zero emission commercial vehicles.

Partnerships Continue to Grow

Several additional companies and organizations have also recently signed the pledge and joined the Drive to Zero call to action. These signatories are diverse by location and interest, demonstrating the growing interest and need for clean commercial transportation. Welcome to you all!

  • Scania (vehicle manufacturer)
  • AVL (development, simulation, and testing of powertrain systems)
  • Denver Metro Clean Cities (local affiliate of federal clean vehicle program)
  • East Bay Municipal Utility District (local water and wastewater utility)
  • Green Energy Technology (renewable and energy efficiency consultancy)
  • Hubject (charging infrastructure networking)
  • ZEV2030 (regional clean vehicle adoption organization)

Sharing and Presenting at New York City’s Climate Week

At Climate Week NYC 2020, CALSTART and Drive to Zero 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)

Our team also collaborated earlier this month with the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance (TDA) and the Climate Group, organizers of EV100, to organize digital dialogues between commercial fleets and manufacturers on how to speed the availability of zero-emission freight trucks and vans in North America, Europe and India. The lessons from these 3 regional dialogues will be featured on September 22 at 8am Pacific at Climate Week NYC 2020. (LINK)

Clean Commercial Transportation Update

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

With all the exciting progress that the Drive to Zero program had to share this week, we will bypass the news summary for this edition, but links to assembled news items can be found below. As always, please share new information, potential partners, and innovative practices to achieve our Drive to Zero goals at Please feel free to share this newsletter with others.
Dan Welch, Senior Project Manager, CALSTART

News Links

Events / Reports

  • Getting zero-emission vans and trucks on the road: international lessons (LINK)
  • Charting a course to 30×30 for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (LINK)
  • Electric trucks are coming, where should they go? (LINK)
  • China-California ZEV truck policy workshop summary and highlights (LINK)

Fleet Deployments

  • Amazon expands zero-emission fleet with Mercedes-Benz electric van order (LINK)
  • Panama cancels order for diesel buses, will purchase 195 electric buses instead (LINK)
  • CN orders 50 electric trucks from Lion Electric (LINK)


  • Soon, the kitty litter will come by electric truck (LINK)
  • Pandemic e-commerce surge spurs race for ‘Tesla-like’ electric delivery vans (LINK)

 Manufacturers and Models: Trucks and Buses

  • Schneider, Navistar and Volvo Trucks announce electric vehicle initiatives (LINK)
  • General Motors takes 11% stake in Nikola to team up on electric truck (LINK)
  • A new electric-truck stock is hitting the market (LINK)
  • Electric vehicles from Daimler Trucks & Buses prove their capabilities in customer use worldwide: more than 7 million kilometers driven (LINK)
  • Scania launches sales of BEV & PHEV trucks (LINK)

Manufacturers and Models: Port Equipment and Off-Road

  • DB Cargo orders up to 400 hybrid trains from Siemens (LINK)

 Government Policies

  • U.S. transit agencies buy BYD buses at preferential rates (LINK)
  • France presents national hydrogen strategy (LINK)

 Fuels & Infrastructure

  • DC fast charger rollout in New York with permitting guidebook for code officials (LINK)
  • Israeli company Electreon partners with EnBW to build Germany’s first wireless electric road system (LINK)

 Utility Policies

  • Southern California Edison gets green light for expanded EV charging program (LINK)
  • [OPINION] Collaboration between utilities, transportation sector essential to expand fleet electrification (LINK)

 Batteries & Technology

  • DAF trucks double the range of the CF Electric (LINK)
  • Waymo begins testing autonomous heavy-duty trucks in Texas (LINK)