Drive to Zero Newsletter – December 2020

Dear Drive to Zero Pledge Partners and Allies:

The world-changing events of 2020 – a COVID-19 pandemic, a growing movement for racial equity and social justice, an unprecedented series of climate-driven natural disasters, and a boom in e-commerce and city deliveries – underscored the importance of our efforts to improve air quality, reduce climate impacts, and support clean technology and jobs. Against all of these challenges, we were reminded of the urgent need to transition to a zero-emission commercial transportation future.

We were also fortunate to celebrate a number of important milestones, including Drive to Zero  becoming an official campaign of the Clean Energy Ministerial, and expanding our partnership with nine nations now working together to accelerate the market for zero-emission trucks and buses. In 2021 Drive to Zero will launch a global effort towards 100% zero-emission truck and bus sales by 2050, with many vehicle applications driving to zero a lot faster. And to support these efforts, we will continue to develop the tools, events, and publications to better equip our partners in charting a course to zero.

To help kick off your holiday reading and reflect on what this year has meant for the Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to ZeroTM program and campaign, our team has recently published an end-of-year blog post. I hope you enjoy it.

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

Drive to Zero Program Progress and Updates

Report & Webinar: Moving Zero-Emission Freight Toward Commercialization

The Drive to Zero team and its European partners at FIER Automotive & Mobility recently published a report that shares the market trends, technologies, and practices to accelerate global zero-emission freight adoption. The report, produced for the International ZEV Alliance, was described over a webinar in conjunction with presenters from the Dutch Ministry of Water and Infrastructure, the California Air Resources Board, and the International Transport Forum. Both the report and the webinar can be found here (LINK).

Blue Sky Award Winners Announced

CALSTART awarded its “Blue Sky” awards to North American companies, organizations, and individuals that are making meaningful contributions to advanced sustainable transportation that cleans the air, improves energy efficiency, reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The 2020 awards were presented on November 17th-18th, 2020 at CALSTART’s Annual Meeting Presented by Momentum. Winners include the governors of California and Michigan, IKEA / The Ingka Group, The NYC Department of Sanitation, Ohio’s Stark Area Regional Transit Authority, and the Volvo Group of North America (LINK)

Report: Building a Zero-Emission Goods-Movement System in Canada

Drive to Zero pledge partner The Pembina Institute, in conjunction with the Urban Delivery Solutions Initiative, released a report on promoting the use of zero-emission delivery vehicles within six of the largest Canadian municipalities as well as the policies of their respective provincial governments and the federal government. The report identifies 10 opportunities to support the expansion of zero-emission vehicles for goods movement, and to help Canada achieve its 2030 and 2050 climate targets (LINK).

Drive to Zero Pledge Partners Update

New companies and organizations have joined the continuously growing Drive to Zero pledge partner ranks. Thank you for your efforts and dedication, we look forward to working with you as we collectively pursue a clean commercial vehicle sector!

  • Business Region Goteburg (city and regional industry support organization)
  • 7 Generation Capital (clean economy investment firm)

News Updates

In addition to the Drive to Zero’s global efforts towards zero-emission commercial vehicles (ZECVs), several other highly-acronymed groups are also launching or facilitating the ZECV transition:

  • ZETA: The Zero Emission Transportation Association coordinates industry efforts to achieve entirely zero-emission vehicle sales in all U.S. markets and sectors by 2030. Dozens of influential industry groups supported the association’s launch.
  • ZEBRA: The Zero Emission Bus Rapid-deployment Accelerator alliance seeks to accelerate electric bus deployment in Latin America. Seventeen manufacturers and investors have signed the pledge.
  • ACEA / PIK: The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association has declared the need to transition entirely to zero-emission truck sales by 2040 to achieve European Union carbon neutrality goals for 2050. The declaration is supported by research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Falling battery costs will support the transition to zero-emission trucks, buses, and off-road vehicles by making the vehicles more affordable. Bloomberg reports that real-world battery pack prices have dropped below $100 per kilowatt-hour, greater than a 90 percent reduction in battery prices since 2010. Second-life applications may also reduce the costs of batteries by providing residual value – a closed coal power plant in Germany is finding new life by repurposing used EV batteries for stationary storage. The plant has a storage capacity of 3 megawatt-hours and will likely be used with vehicle-to-grid applications.

Repurposing a coal plant with EV batteries is a fitting image for a reminder of why zero-emission transportation is so important: combatting climate change and improving air quality. Separate reports from public health experts and physicians point to the impact that climate change is having on our natural and health systems and have called for investments in clean energy systems. The grim reality of worsening air quality was recently recognized in the United Kingdom when a young girl who died of an asthma attack was ruled to have been killed by air pollution. British charities proclaimed that Ella Kissi-Debrah was the first person in known history to have air pollution listed as the official cause of death by a coroner.

Reach out to us to share new information, potential partners, and innovative practices to achieve our Drive to Zero goals at, and please feel free to share this newsletter with others. The updates described above and additional news stories are linked below.

Dan Welch, Senior Project Manager, CALSTART

News Links

Events / Reports

  • How to Shift Freight Electrification into High Gear (LINK)
  • Electrifying EU city logistics: An analysis of energy demand and charging cost (LINK)
  • POLIS, TDA and C40 launch the How-to Guide on Zero-Emission Zones for Freight (LINK)


  • Clean Transportation Leaders Launch Zero Emission Transportation Association (LINK)
  • Big electric trucks and buses are coming. Here’s how to speed up the transition. (LINK)
  • 17 manufacturers and investors pledge to accelerate e-bus deployment in Latin America (LINK)
  • ACEA and PIK declare that by 2040 all new trucks sold need to be fossil-free (LINK)

 Fleet Deployments

  • Moscow Gets Its 500th Electric Bus (LINK)
  • Qatar orders 741 electric buses from Yutong (LINK)
  • DHL tests Class 8 electric trucks in U.S. fleet (LINK)

Manufacturers and Models: Trucks and Buses

  • 2022 Ford E-Transit Gives an Electrified Choice to the Working World (LINK)

Manufacturers and Models: Port Equipment and Off-Road

  • Gaussin & Plug Power H2 logistics vehicles (LINK)


  • ‘We Don’t Have To Live This Way’: Doctors Call For Climate Action (LINK)
  • Air pollution a cause of UK girl’s death, finds global landmark ruling (LINK)

Financial Incentives

  • Connecticut Green Bank and Its EV Charging Partners Register the First Validated Multi-Partner Carbon Offset Credit Project (LINK)
  • Energy Commission Approves Plan to Invest Up to $115 Million for Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure (LINK)
  • CARB approves $28M investment in clean trucks, cars (LINK)

Government Policies

  • How can hydrogen contribute to Net Zero – MPs launch inquiry (United Kingdom) (LINK)
  • Liberals pitch $15-billion in new spending, hike carbon tax to pass 2030 emissions goals (Canada) (LINK)
  • Updated rules will enable deployment of public heavy-duty EV charging stations in California (LINK)
  • London Ultra Low Emission Zone Expansion (LINK)

Fuels & Infrastructure

  • U.S. Energy Department Releases its Hydrogen Program Plan (LINK)
  • S&P: Hydrogen economic viability unlikely before 2030 (LINK)
  • Flanders targets 30,000 new charging points by 2025 (LINK)

 Batteries & Technology

  • Second life for a coal power plant in Germany (LINK)
  • Battery Pack Prices Cited Below $100/kWh for the First Time in 2020, While Market Average Sits at $137/kWh (LINK)
  • EU announces sustainability criteria for batteries (LINK)