Drive to Zero Newsletter – June 2021

Dear Drive to Zero Pledge Partners and Allies:

Earlier this month eight nations called on world leaders to pursue a Global MOU on zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (ZE-MHDVs), to be announced at COP26. This will certainly raise the bar on climate ambition and place ZE-MHDVs as an important part of our climate solution. CALSTART/Drive to Zero will also launch the Zero-Emission Truck (ZET) Global Expo at COP26 to highlight industry and government ambition and showcase the strong reality and capability of the technology. Powerful physical and/or digital multi-media ride & drives and manufacturing tours will let participants see, (not) hear and experience the ZET reality. Important partners such as Volvo, Scania, Navistar, Ford, BYD, Arrival, Lightning eMotors, Tevva, Volta Trucks, DHL, UPS, Siemens, and BAE Systems have signaled their support to participate, and we are also in conversations with partner NGOs to join forces to make this a transformative and successful event. Please reach out to me directly if you’d like to collaborate and participate.

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

Drive to Zero Program Progress and Updates

HVIP’s First Wave of Funding Fully Subscribed

The Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) opened to new voucher requests on June 8. Half of the available funds for FY20-21 have now been requested, totaling $84 million, funding over 900 vehicles. The remaining funds, up to $83 million, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 10 a.m. Pacific on Tuesday, August 10. It is important to note, however, that Class 8 trucks performing drayage operations as well as any vehicles purchased by a public government entity are exempt from this pause. (LINK)

Eight countries calling for a global agreement to accelerate zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles

Canada, Chile, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Greece and Austria have issued a call to the world’s leading nations to jointly pursue a global agreement to accelerate the manufacturing and adoption of zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles. These eight nations, in partnership CALSTART’s Drive to Zero campaign, issued the call for a global Memorandum of Understanding to reach 100 per cent ZE-MHDV sales between 2040 and 2050 on the opening day of the 12th Clean Energy Ministerial in Chile. Their goal is to see a large number of countries sign the MoU at the United Nations Climate Change COP26 conference in Glasgow this November. (LINK)

CALSTART’s Clean Commercial Transportation Update

Tune into CALSTART’s news webinar series, CCTU, for updates on the latest in clean transportation news. In this fast-paced webcast hosted by CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg, Executive Vice President, and Alycia Gilde, Senior Director, we cover key industry issues that will get you up to speed on the latest information that is moving our industry forward for good. The latest edition was broadcast Friday, June 18, featuring Drive to Zero’s Cristiano Façanha in a discussion of the Global Memorandum of Understanding recently announced at the 12th Clean Energy Ministerial. (LINK)

Drive to Zero Pledge Partner Update

We are excited to welcome several new signatories to the continuously growing Drive to Zero pledge partner ranks. Recent additions include UK-based manufacturer Advanced Electric Machines and Michigan-based manufacturer Inventev, hydrogen fueling solution provider ZeroGreenSolutions, electrification investment and advisory firm VAI Capital, Sydney, Australia-based zero-emission fleet planning software provider Evenergi, and Montreal-based advisory firm Km Impact.

Learn more about the Pledge on the Drive to Zero website (LINK)

Drive to Zero is Hiring

Program Manager – China

CALSTART is seeking a highly-motivated, experienced, and results-oriented Program Manager to manage and lead Drive to Zero’s work plan and activities in China, work with key government agencies, industry and stakeholders to provide information, strategies and support for faster ZECV deployment. This position will be based in the U.S.

Apply to this position or share with others! (LINK)

News Updates

This month’s clean commercial vehicle news has been dominated by the news of large-scale ZE truck deliveries and orders.

Large-scale commercial ZE deployments like these may become more commonplace, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, but a true market shift to ZE technologies will require more substantial policy support. As part of its latest annual EV Outlook, BNEF’s commercial transportation lead stated: “In addition to introducing tighter fuel economy or CO2 standards for trucks, governments may need to consider mandates for the decarbonization of fleets. They should also consider incentives to push freight into smaller trucks, which can electrify faster than larger ones.” The recent and immediate success of the California Air Resources’ Board’s incentives, which do not differentiate between weight classes but offer incentives on a first-come, first-served basis for all eligible clean commercial vehicle technologies, help demonstrate the value of incentives. The CALSTART-administered HVIP program’s initial 2021 funding round of $84 million was assigned within hours of the program reopening.

One direct method for improving commercial ZE adoption is to invest in large-scale battery production, thereby reducing the biggest source of ZE buses’ and trucks’ higher incremental costs. The Biden administration is making efforts to invest more heavily in domestic battery productionand use, which would also support U.S. economic growth. Across Europe and in the United Kingdom, individual firms are developing large-scale battery production plants to compete with larger, established manufacturing facilities in the United States and east Asia. The value of these batteries for a growing marketplace has already been made clear – Korean manufacturers LG’s and SKI’s year-over-year battery sales increased by at least 80 percent in the first quarter of 2021, leading to high profit margins at these companies.

Lastly, Chinese manufacturer Shantui Construction Machinery is bringing out the childhood excitement in us all (or at least in me) with the delivery of its new all-electric bulldozer to a regional mining operation. The company claims its bulldozer, outfitted in a fetching shade of light blue, is a first-of-its-kind deployment with a 240 kilowatt-hour battery with a minimum operating time of 4 hours.

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

Dan Welch, Senior Project Manager, CALSTART

News Links

Events / Reports

  • Zero-emission bus and truck market in the United States and Canada: A 2020 update (LINK)
  • Bloomberg NEF: Electric Vehicle Outlook 2021 (LINK)
  • Webinar: Primed for Pickup: Urban delivery solutions for cities, in the online shopping boom (LINK)

 Fleet Deployments

  • SAIC Hongyan Delivers 1,000 Units Electric Heavy-duty Trucks to Tangshan (LINK)
  • Infraprime Logistics to rollout 1,000 heavy electric trucks in India (LINK)
  • US-based Triton EV to deliver 2,000 electric semi-trucks to India (LINK)
  • British Royal Mail to procure 3,000 electric transporters (LINK)
  • Volvo Trucks Provides Penske Truck Leasing with VNR Electric Models in Southern California (LINK)
  • Port of Los Angeles rolls out $82.5M hydrogen fuel cell electric freight demonstration; Toyota fuel cell technology (LINK)
  • BYD Scores More Electric Bus Orders & Deliveries in Sweden & Spain (LINK)


  • Electric Big Rigs Are Coming—and We Drive Four of Them (LINK)
  • When it comes to charging electric trucks, consider the ecosystem (LINK)
  • Electric Vehicle Sales Set to Rise Faster Than Ever, but More Policy Action Needed to Get on Track for Net Zero (LINK)
  • Global News Roundup: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck Development (LINK)

Manufacturers and Models: Trucks and Buses

  • Gatik Launches First Electric Automated Delivery Trucks in North America (LINK)
  • BYD introduces a bi-directional charging electric school bus (LINK)
  • Trova to Offer Electric-Powertrain Conversions for Heavy Trucks (LINK)

Manufacturers and Models: Port Equipment and Off-Road

  • Pure electric bulldozer goes into service in China, first of its kind in the world (LINK)

Government Policies

  • Bogota crowdsources a green transport future to hit climate goals (LINK)
  • Ofgem delivers £300 million down payment to rewire Britain (LINK)
  • Biden admin aims to make the US a world leader in lithium-ion batteries (LINK)
  • Tata Motors delivers 26 e-buses to Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) (LINK)
  • Utrecht goes for H2 infrastructure and Hyzon vehicles (LINK)
  • Korean transport operators commit to zero emissions by 2030 (LINK)

Financial Incentives

  • With more models coming, incentives seen as key to boosting Canada’s medium- and heavy-duty electric truck transition (LINK)
  • What the electric bus industry could do with a multibillion-dollar U.S. federal investment (LINK)
  • IPCEI to fund 12 European hydrogen mobility projects (LINK)

Fuels & Infrastructure

  • First wireless ‘charging highway’ for electric vehicles is coming to Italy (LINK)
  • FritoLay’s Tesla Semi Megacharger Installation Will Charge Up To 100 Tesla Semis (LINK)
  • Building a ‘hydrogen hub’ in San Juan County, New Mexico (LINK)
  • Loop Energy and GreenCore partner for hydrogen-powered EV chargers (LINK)
  • Mega push for heavy-duty EV charging (LINK)

Utility Actions

  • National Grid joins EV100 as first major US utility to make fleet commitment (LINK)

 Batteries & Technology

  • Gigafactories: Europe tools up against US and Asia as a car battery force (LINK)
  • Volvo, Albertsons Complete First Zero-Emission Frozen Food Shipment (LINK)
  • LG & SKI show increased battery sales for Q1 2021 (LINK)
  • VW, Daimler, BASF & Fairphone launch sustainable lithium initiative (LINK)


  • Can freight trucks pull their weight in lowering carbon emissions? (LINK)