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Canada has become the first nation to endorse a pledge to speed global adoption of zero-emission and near-zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in key urban communities by 2025 and achieve full market penetration by 2040.
Calstart, a nonprofit California-based clean transportation industry consortium with 210 private and public sector members, launched the Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero initiative in September.
“Our strategy from the research is clear: target the right vehicles for first market success, in the right order for sustainable industry growth, in the right regions embracing and supporting change,” said Bill Van Amburg, executive vice president of Calstart and head of the Drive to Zero program. “Coordinating and supporting deployments of similar vehicle applications in key parts of Asia, North and South America and Europe can help reduce costs of common components and enable zero-emission technology to be viable in urban markets by 2025, and drive toward market penetration by 2040.”
Joining Canada as the latest to support the plan were the city of Helmond, Netherlands, the California Energy Commission, the Chile Sustainable Energy Agency and BAE Systems, which designs, develops and manufactures a wide range of electronic systems and subsystems for both military and commercial applications.
“Canada is well-positioned to be among the leaders transitioning to zero-emission commercial fleets, delivering both environmental and economic benefits,” said Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada. “We’re a big country and we move a lot of freight by truck. We’re also a heavily urban country, and as cities grow, more is being invested in public transit. Shifting to zero-emission trucks and buses, many of which are made right here in Canada, will cut both carbon pollution and fuel costs. It’s a win-win.”
Earlier public-sector supporters of the plan include, among others, city mayors in California and Oslo, Norway; the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, the City of New York and the California Air Resources Board.
Private-sector proponents include Ryder System Inc., BYD, Ballard Power Systems, Orange EV, Chanje, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck, Workhorse Group Inc. and The Lion Electric Co.
Supporters of the plan also can be found in the Netherlands, India and China, and among other groups including C40, EV100 and the Transport Decarbonization Alliance, according to Calstart.
“Over the next five years, the project and its participants will focus on sharing information, identifying best practices, eliminating barriers, and coordinating among stakeholders to ensure success of the beachhead markets in China, India, Mexico, South America, Canada, the European Union and the United States,” according to the pledge.