Drive to Zero Newsletter – August 2021

Dear Drive to Zero Pledge Partners and Allies:

The most recent IPCC Report delivered the starkest warning about climate change, building on increasingly visible impacts ranging from unprecedent heat waves, forest fires, floods and loss of biodiversity. This is the first time an IPCC report expressed more instances of “high confidence” than “medium confidence” impacts, partly because of better science and climate modeling, but partly because the impacts of climate change are already here.

To limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degree Celsius, the threshold to avoid the worst catastrophic impacts of climate change, we need to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. While many sectors are decarbonizing faster, such as the power sector due to deep cost reductions of renewable energy, transportation still has a long way to go to decarbonize. And even within the transportation sector, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) continue to be overlooked despite representing a disproportionate share of emissions. But that can all change if we all unite around the same targets.

To enable net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, we absolutely need to ensure that by 2040 all sales of new MHDVs be zero emissions. This target is consistent with the goals stated by major manufacturers, and it is consistent with the level of ambition in the upcoming MOU for ZE-MHDVs to be announced at COP26 in November in Glasgow. The challenge now is to get the highest number of organizations and governments to endorse these ambitious yet feasible goals. I sincerely hope you’ll support us to achieve this ambitious mission in the next couple of months.

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

Drive to Zero Program Progress and Updates

Help Us Improve Our Toolkits!

Drive to Zero has launched a user survey to help evaluate our Zero-Emission Technology Inventory (ZETI) and ZETI Analytics tools. We hope to better understand the current user experience while also identifying new features and information to include in the future. The survey should take about 5-7 minutes to complete, and will close on Tuesday, August 31. We encourage you to share your feedback by completing the survey. Your valued input will help us to improve these tools. (LINK)

ZET Global Expo

Recognizing the essential role zero-emission trucks (ZETs) must play in reaching our collective Paris Agreement goals, Drive to Zero will launch a ZET Global Expo at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November in Glasgow. In conjunction with the recent call to action for a Global MOU to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, the ZET Global Expo will highlight industry and government ambition and showcase the strong reality and capability of available ZET technology. Be sure to visit the Drive to Zero website for updates and more information on how to get involved. (LINK)

California Transit Agencies Chart a Course to Zero Emissions

California’s Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation requires all transit agencies to purchase only zero-emission buses (ZEBs) starting in 2029. To create a shared roadmap, the ICT requires all transit agencies to submit Rollout Plans detailing the types of buses, acquisition dates, and optional costs for the buses and infrastructure – most large transit agencies and one small agency have submitted their publicly available plans. CALSTART crunched the numbers and created a data-driven report that highlights interesting trends and findings from the Rollout Plans. (LINK)

“Zero Now Fund” Powers Electric Trucks in Chicago, San Diego, & San Jose

The “Zero Now Fund” is aimed at supporting leading U.S. cities to accelerate early zero-emission commercial vehicle investments that deliver results on the ground within the year. The fund is also laying the foundation for enforceable policies to ensure a transition to zero-emissions vehicles in major commercial segments over the next few years. Financial support is provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation, and Tempest Advisors. Additional project partners include CALSTART, Delivery Associates, Energy Foundation, the International Council on Clean Transportation, and NRDC. (LINK)

Drive to Zero Pledge Partner Update

The Drive to Zero pledge partner network continues to grow, and we are excited to welcome a new signatory from the United Kingdom. Restore Datashred is one of the U.K.’s leading confidential shredding businesses, with a fleet of over 300 vans, Large Goods Vehicles, and Heavy Goods Vehicles. Restore is committed to reducing carbon emissions and is currently trialing the electrification of collection vehicles, with a goal of transitioning its fleet to zero-emission over the next 10 years.

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

News Updates

Researchers have had plenty to say about zero-emission commercial vehicles this past month in a series of reports and publications. The research touches on:

Innovators continue to explore alternative methods to power commercial zero-emission trucks and buses. Continental Engineering Services and Siemens will collaborate to develop overhead pantograph charging for on-road charging systems. The collaboration will expand pantograph charging along Germany’s autobahn beyond current initial test sites. U.S. tech company WAVE is planning to upgrade its current inductive charging systems for zero-emission trucks and buses to accommodate 500kW and 1MW charging, up from a current capacity of 250 kilowatts. Spanish energy company Iberdrola plans to assertively expand conventional, ultra-high speed charging stations in a corridor along the Mediterranean. The network would support heavy-duty trucking with stations capable of charging at 1MW. California’s Port of Long Beach and electric utility Southern California Edison have also pursued a “go big” strategy by electrifying an entire container terminal. The zero-emission terminal covers 300 acres and is designed to handle 1.1 million twenty-foot equivalent cargo units with shore power cables, yard tractors, gantry cranes, and other off-road technologies.

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

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 Links

Events / Reports

  • Race to zero: How manufacturers are positioned for zero-emission commercial trucks and buses in China (LINK)
  • How to decarbonize heavy-duty transport and make it affordable (LINK)
  • New report documents the availability and potential of zero-emission freight trucks and buses (LINK)
  • Why are electric vehicles the only way to quickly and substantially decarbonize transport? (LINK)
  • Low- and Zero-Emissions Zones: Opportunities and Challenges in Designing Equitable Transportation Policies (LINK)
  • California fuel cell partnership envisions 70,000 heavy-duty fuel cell electric trucks supported by 200 hydrogen stations in-state by 2035 (LINK)

 Fleet Deployments

  • Hyundai to deploy hydrogen-fuel-cell trucks in California (LINK)
  • FedEx orders 120 Xos tlectric trucks (LINK)
  • Tata Steel contracts for 27 electric trucks for transportation of finished steel in India (LINK)
  • Delhi government to float tender for 465 e-buses, eyes becoming largest electric fleet (LINK)
  • Brazilian court gives green light to $170m São Paulo BRT project (LINK)
  • Chile announces tender for electric bus system in Valparaíso (LINK)


  • EDF analysis finds American fleets are embracing electric trucks (LINK)
  • New study: Four signs of a growing U.S. supply chain for zero-emissions trucks and buses (LINK)
  • Hino and Isuzu race for electric trucks as Chinese rivals encroach (LINK)
  • Weight, dawn-to-dusk demands pose challenges to electrifying farm vehicles (LINK)

Manufacturers and Models: Trucks and Buses

  • Lightning eMotors and Forest River Inc. Reach Multiyear Agreement for up to $850M in Zero-Emission Bus Technology Plus Charging Products and Services (LINK)
  • Hyzon to deliver 85 H2 trucks to Europe by year’s end (LINK)
  • New Partnership to Develop Heavy-Duty EVs for North America (LINK)
  • Air Products & Cummins to drive global transition to fuel cell trucks (LINK)
  • Transit vans will be turned into £100k electric ambulances to slash NHS’ carbon footprint and fuel bills (LINK)

Manufacturers and Models: Port Equipment and Off-Road

  • Technotrans to deliver battery cooling systems for trains (LINK)
  • Komatsu announces customer alliance to advance zero-emission mining; power-agnostic haul truck (LINK)


  • EU aims to “give humanity a fighting chance” with catch-all climate plan (LINK)

Government Policies

  • Coming soon, a grand challenge for electric buses in India (LINK)
  • Clean energy buses: RATP places a new massive order to renew the Île-de-France Mobilités fleet (LINK)
  • Montreal mayor looks to boost city’s fleet of battery-powered buses, cars and Bixis (LINK)

Financial Incentives

  • U.S. DOE Awards $60 Million to Accelerate Advancements in Zero-Emissions Vehicles (LINK)

Fuels & Infrastructure

  • Shell to develop multi-modal hydrogen station in California (LINK)
  • Wave to develop high voltage inductive charging system (LINK)
  • Iberdrola plans Mediterranean mega charger corridor (LINK)
  • Continental & Siemens to cooperate on truck pantographs (LINK)

Utility Actions

  • Port of Long Beach Celebrates Completion of Fully Electrified Container Terminal (LINK)

 Batteries & Technology

  • Electric yellow school bus will try to make vehicle to grid power work (LINK)
  • Valmet & Fortum announce battery recycling cooperation (LINK)
  • China’s CATL looks to raise $9 bln to expand lithium-ion battery production (LINK)
  • XALT & ReCell launch recycling collaboration (LINK)
  • LG Energy Solution inks deal with Australian mining company for nickel and cobalt (LINK)
  • JB Straubel’s Redwood Materials raises $700 million to accelerate EV battery recycling business (LINK)
  • Tesla To Use 1-3 Battery Cell Formats (LINK)
  • Millions of electric car batteries will retire in the next decade. What happens to them? (LINK)


  • Climate change: IPCC report is ‘code red for humanity’ (LINK)
  • The race for electric vehicle parts leads to risky deep-ocean mining (LINK)
  • Air quality and health impacts of heavy-duty vehicles in G20 economies (LINK)