Drive to Zero Newsletter – December 2021

Dear Drive to ZeroTM Pledge Partners and Allies:

To wrap up a very successful 2021, we have recently completed three important knowledge products:

  1. Our newest briefing paper (LINK) reviews the latest country and OEM commitments towards zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (ZE-MHDVs), emphasizing the alignment by leading nations (orange dots), but also making the case that countries that haven’t yet signed the Global MOU on ZE-MHDVs – especially the largest MHDV markets – need much stronger ambition for ZE-MHDVs to achieve their carbon neutrality goals (green dots). The paper also highlights OEM commitments and shines light on the important differences between “zero emission”, “fossil free” and “CO2/carbon neutral” commitments.

    Figure extracted from “Review of Commitments for Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles”

  2. A complementary white paper (LINK) concludes that OEM commitments to ZE-MHDVs (blue wedge in the chart below) are not sufficient to fulfill a global 100% new ZE-MHDV sales goal by 2040 even when assuming that EV-born OEMs increase their market share substantially (green wedge in the chart below). So much higher ambition is needed!

    Countries’ policy targets for on-road vehicles

  3. In our latest blog post (LINK), we also summarize the great progress made at COP26 in the push to reduce MHDV emissions, in particular the Global Memorandum of Understanding on Zero-Emission Trucks and Buses (MOU), coordinated by CALSTART and the Netherlands, where 15 countries pledged to achieve 100% zero-emission truck and bus sales by 2040, with an interim goal of 30% by 2030. The blog also discusses relevant COP26 events, and highlights the new tools that CALSTART unveiled at COP26, including the ZET Global Expo Digital Hub, which illustrates the capability and value of current ZET technology, and the Progress Dashboard.

On behalf of CALSTART I wish you all very happy holidays and hope you take the time to spend with family and friends, and recharge before continuing our mission to completely decarbonize the MHDV sector.

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

Drive to Zero Program Progress and Updates

The Drive to Zero pledge partner network continues to grow, and we are excited to welcome the following organizations that recently signed the Drive to Zero Pledge in conjunction with their endorsement of the Global MOU on ZE-MHDVs:

With these recent pledges, and the over 30 new pledge partners we welcomed in 2021, the Drive to Zero pledge partner network now stands at over 135 partners working together to accelerate the market for zero-emission commercial vehicles. We look forward to continued growth and collaboration in 2022! Learn more about the Pledge on the Drive to Zero website (LINK)

News Updates

It has been an extraordinary year of progress for clean transportation, and momentum keeps building as we move into 2022. In the wake of new zero emissions targets set at a productive COP26, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order to dramatically cut the federal government’s carbon emissions, including stopping all purchases by the government of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Biden’s order requires 100% zero-emission acquisitions of light-duty vehicles sooner, by 2027. Canada also recently pledged a major investment in clean transportation, as Canada’s Infrastructure Bank (CIB) agreed to fund 4,000 electric school busesin the province of Quebec.

The worldwide push to electrify trucks is, of course, sorely needed. A study by the International Transport Forum confirmed this, finding that the volume of road freight continued to rise in 2020, even as transportation of goods by other modes slowed down. The International Council on Clean Transportation also conducted total cost of ownership (TCO) analyses of zero-emission truck technologies in Europe and China, concluding that battery-electric trucks can achieve cost parity with diesel trucks within this decade. Thankfully, utilities are making major investments in developing charging infrastructure, including the announced plan by a coalition of more than 50 U.S. utilities to roll out charging stations across the country’s highways in anticipation of 22 million electric vehicles being on the road in 2023. BP also made a major move to buy into electric infrastructure in the U.S. by purchasing EV charging provider AMPLY Power.

With the close of 2021 came noteworthy sales for commercial electric vehicle manufacturers. International logistics and shipping giant DB Schenker recently placed an order for 1,470 electric trucks from Volta Trucks, which it intends to use in five different countries. Indian operator Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited (AJL) completed its purchase of 60 Ultra Urban electric buses from the country’s Tata Motors. Top Delivery Services (TDS) in the Netherlands ordered 10 electric trucks from BYD, to be used for logistics with Ikea. The Chinese manufacturer continued to increase its footprint in the U.S., recently delivering 5 electric refuse trucks to Jersey City, New Jersey. The future for electric truck sales is rosy with clients like Sysco, which pledged to electrify 35% of its U.S. tractor fleet by 2030.

Electrification cannot succeed without increasing battery production. Companies are rising to the challenge, including electric vehicle start-up Arrival, which announced plans to build a facility in North Carolina to manufacture battery modules for its delivery vans. Octillion Energy has been greatly ramping up production of its high-density lithium-ion battery packs, reaching a milestone of 1,500 packs per day with a target of producing 2,000 packs per day by year’s end. This momentum looks to carry into the new year, as Cummins Inc. recently announced that it is investing in Sion Power Corporation to produce battery packs to be used in Cummins’ commercial vehicle powertrains. As 2021 winds to a close, the future for clean transportation looks bright.

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.

Justin Slosky, Technical Writer, CALSTART

News Links

Events / Reports

  • Reducing Truck Emissions in Montreal: Guiding principles and a policy toolbox for low-carbon urban freight (LINK)
  • Total cost of ownership for tractor-trailers in Europe: Battery electric versus diesel (LINK)
  • Do battery electric trucks make sense? (LINK)

 Fleet Deployments

  • Volta Books Order For 1470 Electric Trucks From DB Schenker (LINK)
  • Tata Motors delivers 60 Ultra Urban electric buses to Ahmedabad Janmarg (LINK)
  • Sysco to electrify 35% of its US private fleet by 2030 (LINK)
  • TDS orders 10 BYD e-trucks in the Netherlands (LINK)
  • Jersey City Receives Its 5 BYD Battery-Electric Refuse Trucks (LINK)
  • LINK)

Manufacturers and Models: Trucks and Buses

  • Arrival to start building batteries in U.S. and train technicians to service its electric vans (LINK)
  • Bollinger & EAVX join forces to develop all-electric work trucks (LINK)
  • SEA Electric to convert 10k US school buses (LINK)
  • Meritor Forecasts Electrification Will Bring $1.5 Billion in Revenue by 2030 (LINK)
  • BAE Systems, Meritor Integrate Industrial EV Solutions (LINK)
  • LINK)

Government Policies

  • Biden wants to make federal government carbon neutral by 2050 (LINK)
  • Biden orders 100% ZEV acquisition for Federal fleet by 2035, ZEV LDVs by 2027 (LINK)

Financial Incentives

  • Canada Infrastructure Bank to fund 4,000 electric school buses in Quebec (LINK)

Fuels & Infrastructure

  • BP buys EV charging provider AMPLY in green energy push (LINK)

Utility Actions

  • Major US utilities plan nationwide charging network, anticipating 22M EVs by 2030 (LINK)

Batteries & Technology

  • Li-S Energy, Janus Electric to collaborate on Li-S and/or Li-metal cells for swappable prime mover packs (LINK)
  • Octillion shipping 1,500 battery packs per day globally (LINK)
  • Cummins invests in lithium-metal battery company Sion Power, multi-year development agreement (LINK)


  • Cities need electric vehicles—and also walkable neighborhoods, more transit, and redesigned streets (LINK)
  • Road freight volumes continued to grow in 2020 (LINK)