As electric vehicles age, here’s how the batteries are finding a second life

With EV sales projected to hit 130 million by 2030, the industry faces a potential battery waste problem

Reusing and recycling the batteries in electric vehicles further reduces the carbon footprint of the cars, touted as a key solution to climate change. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

In his pursuit to completely get off fossil fuels, David Elderton has switched anything with a motor — from his car to his chainsaws — over to battery power.

Even the three-bedroom home he shares with his partner on B.C.’s Salt Spring Island is powered, in part, by a battery from a wrecked Tesla Model S he bought last year; it charges via solar panels mounted on his shed.

The size of two large coolers side by side, he says the battery can keep the lights on for up to five days with conservative power use, and about a day when almost everything is running.

Elderton is part of a community of do-it-yourself electricians offering the batteries from totalled or end-of-life electric vehicles a second life.

“It’s a good feeling not to be buying gas anymore,” he told Day 6.

David Elderton has fitted his woodshed with an array of solar panels, which charge the Tesla battery he has connected to his house. They also feed electricity back into British Columbia’s electrical grid. (David Elderton)

A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature found while the electric vehicle “revolution” is crucial to a greener future, it presents a battery waste management problem that should be quickly addressed.

The authors estimate the one million electric vehicles (EV) sold in 2017 carry a collective 250,000 tonnes — or 500,000 cubic metres — of battery.

With the International Energy Agency forecasting more than 130 million electric vehicles on roadways worldwide by 2030, manufacturers and startups are looking ahead to keep EV batteries from the landfill through second-life use and recycling.

Research shows that while an electric vehicle will produce fewer carbon emissions compared to a fossil fuel-powered car over its lifetime, building them is energy intensive.

Manufacturing one electric vehicle battery is equivalent to about one year of emissions from a fossil fuel-powered car, according to Olivier Trescases, who heads the University of Toronto’s Electric Vehicle Research Centre.

Based on the typical driver’s annual driving distance, the battery in an electric vehicle could see a 20 per cent reduction after about 150,000 km. (Ben Shannon/CBC)

Reusing and recycling the batteries further reduces the carbon footprint of the personal vehicles, he said, which are touted as a key solution to climate change.

“There’s a cycle that’s envisioned and it’s already starting to happen.”

A second life

Like a cellphone battery, electric vehicle batteries lose capacity as they are charged and discharged. That means less range and more frequent charging — but not that it’s necessarily ready for the dump.

“Once the battery degrades to, let’s say 20 per cent below its nominal capacity, then you can actually use it, repurpose it for stationary applications,” said Trescases. “Then finally [move to] recycling and repurposing.”

This year, Nissan began powering streetlights in Japan and a stadium in the Netherlands with customers’ used batteries. In 2015, General Motors took on a similar project at their data centre in Michigan.

A computer monitors the voltage and health of Elderton’s second-life battery project. Fully charged, the battery holds about 20 kilowatt hours of electricity. (David Elderton)

A computer monitors the voltage and health of Elderton’s second-life battery project. Fully charged, the battery holds about 20 kilowatt hours of electricity. (David Elderton)

But DIY builders have used the older batteries in their homes as makeshift powerwalls.

“There [are] people who are trying to save money on their power bill. There are people who are living off-grid, whether it be in a house or a cabin or maybe an RV,” Elderton said.

“I think there’s just something about batteries that is fascinating and people like to play around with them.”

Particularly crafty do-it-yourselfers have even fitted sailboats and classic cars with electric motors for a silent ride.

Repurposing an electric vehicle battery at home can be risky. The battery packs hold a lot of energy, and when damaged, lithium-ion batteries can explode.

(Ben Shannon/CBC)

But researchers suggest that second-life solutions are preferable to direct recycling.

Given how valuable batteries could be for stationary storage, Trescases suggests that, in the future, electric vehicles batteries could be built with repurposing in mind as a standard feature.

“What makes that the most compelling is when you design the battery from the get-go to actually make a seamless transition from the first life in the car to second life in stationary,” he said.

According to Jessika Trancik, an energy systems researcher at MIT, second-life solutions and recycling of the battery packs could also be a key element in eliminating one of the main barriers to EV adoption: Sticker shock.

“Finding either a way to capture the value in the metals in the battery through recycling or … finding valuable second-life applications can reduce the upfront cost of electric vehicles,” she said.

As electric vehicles age, here’s how the batteries are finding a second life  A study published in the journal Nature finds that while the EV “revolution” is crucial to a greener future, it presents a battery waste management problem. Manufacturers, startups — and everyday Canadians — are already looking ahead. 9:24

Recycling companies emerge

Established companies and startups are already gearing up for what they say is an oncoming onslaught of spent batteries from the first commercially available electric vehicles, which are expected to reach end of life by 2025.

According to Kunal Phalpher, chief commercial officer for Li-Cycle, a battery recycling startup in Mississauga, Ont., vehicle manufacturers want to do the right thing when it comes to disposing batteries.

“I would say that it’s really more rare that the battery ends up in the wrong place from the EV space than say portable electronics,” he said, pointing to e-waste from devices like cellphones and laptops that may end up forgotten in a drawer or thrown in the garbage.

In Canada, charging an EV emits less carbon dioxide than burning a tank of gas because electricity is generated mostly by carbon-free sources. ‘Simply by switching to an electric vehicle, you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions from driving by 40 per cent or more,’ said Jessika Trancik. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

A handful of Canadian companies, including Li-Cycle, say they have developed processes that can mine the valuable — and finite — materials that might otherwise remain locked in depleted lithium-ion batteries.

“The process that we’ve been developing is able to produce raw material — very pure, so battery-grade material — that we can ship back directly for people that are producing batteries,” said Samuel Fournier, head of business development at Montreal-based Lithion Recycling.

Both Li-Cycle and Lithion use a process called hydrometallurgy; after the batteries are mechanically dismantled, solvents are used to separate the essential minerals and metals.

Li-Cycle says their process can recover 80 to 100 per cent of materials, and Lithion claims 95 per cent.

(Ben Shannon/CBC)

Currently, battery recycling often takes place in China and South Korea and, as this week’s Nature study notes, stockpiling or shipping batteries has its own set of environmental concerns.

Fournier says Lithion hopes to open small-scale plants that will be able to recycle batteries locally, reducing the need for shipping and cutting down on carbon emissions.

“We treat this a bit as urban mining,” he said, adding their first pilot plant is expected to open in Montreal early next year.

By using recycled materials, Phalpher says automakers will be able to significantly reduce their carbon emissions.

“People are looking at … the CO2 footprint of the complete life cycle of the car,” he said. “Having recycled raw material in their supply chain will significantly benefit them.” SOURCE

30 of world’s largest cities have hit peak greenhouse gas emissions milestone, C40 analysis shows

The international community has collaboratively crusaded to quickly reach peak global greenhouse gas emissions. By doing so, they hope to alleviate worldwide temperature rise and related climate disasters. A recent report confirms that 30 of the world’s largest cities — all members of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group — have completed their peak greenhouse gas emission milestones.

What does it mean when a country or city “peaks” its greenhouse gas emissions? As part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement, first enacted in 2016, countries across the globe — and their respective cities, some of which are members of the C40 — have agreed to decrease global warming by keeping the collective planet-wide temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. To ensure this, the countries that have signed the Paris Agreement have set goals to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. When a country’s emissions levels have reversed substantially, they are described as having “peaked” at last, so they are now capable of industrially operating at emissions levels far below their “peak” point.

Related: Cities around the world lay the groundwork for a zero-waste future

According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), “peaking” really began even before the Paris Agreement was established. For instance, by 1990, 19 countries were documented to have peaked their greenhouse gas emission levels. By 2000, an additional 14 countries reached their critical milestones. A decade later, in 2010, 16 more countries joined the list of countries that have peaked, including the United States and Canada, which both peaked in 2007.

Meanwhile, in 2005, the multinational organization now known as C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, or C40 for short, was founded when representatives from 18 mega-cities cooperatively forged an agreement to address widespread pollution and climate change. The group began with 18 cities and has grown significantly since then. Interestingly, the C40, on its 10th anniversary back in 2015, was instrumental in shaping the Paris Agreement prior to its 2016 ratification.

Now, ahead of the C40 World Mayors Summit, a new analysis just revealed that 30 of the world’s largest and most influential cities — all members of C40 — have each achieved their respective peak greenhouse gas emissions goals. The 30 cities include Athens, Austin, Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Montreal, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Venice, Warsaw and Washington, D.C.

The C40 analysis further disclosed that these 30 influential cities have helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 22 percent, which is encouraging.

“The C40 cities that have reached peak emissions are raising the bar for climate ambition, and, at the same time, exemplifying how climate action creates healthier, more equitable and resilient communities,” said Mark Watts, executive director of C40 Cities.

To further its endeavors, C40 has launched the C40 Knowledge Hub. It is an online platform dedicated to informing and inspiring policies to ramp up global climate initiatives that can encourage even more sustainable changes to protect the planet.  SOURCE

What’s driving California’s emissions? You guessed it: Cars.

California received plenty of praise back in 2016 when it hit its target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions four years ahead of time. But the Golden State’s progress has slowed, according to a report out Tuesday from a nonpartisan research center. California is now on track to hit its 2030 goal in 2061. Three whole decades late.

The biggest problem: California’s beloved cars.

“This is a sobering report,” said F. Noel Perry, a California investor who founded the center behind the report, Next 10. “We are at a very important point: California is going to need major policy breakthroughs and deep structural changes if we’re going to meet our climate goals.”

What happened? Over the last three years, California has reduced emissions at a rate of only 1.15 percent. At that pace, it would take a century for the state to zero-out carbon emissions. But a law ex-Governor Jerry Brown signed in 2016, requires the state to reach zero emissions by 2050. Since falling behind, the state would need to step up emissions reductions to 4.51 percent every year, according to the report.

Next 10

Next 10’s report, the California Green Innovation Index, shows that the state has plucked most of the low-hanging fruit, mainly by cleaning up electricity production. California’s next challenge is the tougher job of eliminating climate pollutants from transportation, industry, and homes, and offices. And, yes, all of those cars.

Passenger vehicles alone produce nearly a third of California’s emissions, more than all of the electric plants, livestock, and oil refineries in the state put together. Vehicle ownership has reached an all-time high, as has the total miles that Californians are driving. Moreover, “even in climate conscious California we’ve seen a consumer preference shift to favor SUVs and light trucks,” said Adam Fowler of Beacon Economics, which prepared this report for Next 10.

Next 10

Since early 2017, more than half the new passenger vehicles Californians bought were SUVs and trucks.

Another big, related problem is housing. California’s economy is booming, but cities haven’t built the homes needed by all the new workers. That’s forcing more people into suburbs far from public transportation. The report found that the percentage of people choosing public transit “declined substantially throughout most of California between 2008 and 2018.” Failure to build housing is doubly bad because new buildings are much more efficient in terms of insulation,climate control, and energy efficiency. Every new home even gets solar panels.

“This is one of the gnarliest challenges,” Perry said. “How do we reduce commute times and how do we build denser housing?”

It’s not all bad news. California continues to prove it’s possible to cut carbon emissions while the economy expands. From 2016 to 2017, California’s economy per capita grew 3.1 percent while each person’s emissions decreased.

And the authors said that the state still deserves a lot of credit. “California policies have made appliances more efficient, renewable energy cheaper, and given cars better gas mileage all across the country,” Perry said.

East of Toronto, a land dispute tests Trudeau’s commitment to sustainability

Left, federal transport minister Marc Garneau; centre, a map of the Pickering Airport Lands; right, Peter Bethlenfalvy, the Progressive Conservative MPP for nearby Pickering-Uxbrige.

Pressure is building on the federal government to decide the fate of a parcel of land east of Toronto long earmarked for an airport that critics say is unnecessary.

The plan for an airport on rural land north of Pickering was first hatched more than four decades ago, when Pierre Trudeau’s government expropriated 18,600 acres of farmland, including two villages, to create a site to supplement Pearson on the city’s western flank.

It hit various snags over the years, and almost half of the land has since been given over to the Rouge National Urban Park, but some 9,600 acres of mostly prime farmland remain in the possession of Transport Canada.

In the intervening years, scientific consensus has developed around the need to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions (such as those emitted by aviation) to avoid the effects of a warming planet, including crop failures, droughts and floods. Food security has become an important consideration, since produce grown elsewhere could, as a result, fluctuate wildly in price or even become unavailable.

That’s why Land Over Landings, a volunteer group that opposes an airport, says the site should instead be used as an urban farming and agri-tourism destination.

“There’s so much fear about what is happening environmentally,” said Sandra Campbell, a longtime supporter and adviser to Land Over Landings and a founder of Abundance GTA, which celebrates urban farming. “The people that flock to farmers markets are there because of a sense that it is one thing they can do.”

An illustration of how the remaining federal lands could be used, created for Land Over Landings by Heather Rigby.

“No government has had the intestinal fortitude, courage, vision and wisdom to create something truly wonderful that would be the envy of the world.”

But others, including a new crop of local representatives elected late last year, would prefer to see the prime farmland near Canada’s biggest city turned to more typical economic development, testing the commitment of Pierre’s son, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to balance the environment and the economy.

Trudeau and his transport minister, Marc Garneau, could technically scrap the airport plan and endorse the urban-farming alternative before an election due in October, but it would be an aggressive bet that choosing food over flying is an electoral-vote winner.

“No government has had the intestinal fortitude, courage, vision and wisdom to create something truly wonderful that would be the envy of the world,” Land Over Landings chairwoman Mary Delaneysaid.

An overly optimistic promotional document produced by Lands Over Landings for a future North Pickering Farms. Photo from Lands Over Landings website.

In any case, the result of the federal election might further shift the political landscape, following municipal votes last October which brought in several representatives supportive of an airport or other development, including Dave Ryan as Pickering mayor, Shaun Collier as Ajax mayor and John Henry as Oshawa regional chairman.

The Progressive Conservative provincial government of Doug Ford has also broadly supported urban development over environmental concerns. MORE

For a Sustainable Climate and Food System, Regenerative Agriculture Is the Key

The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that agriculture is responsible for 37% of greenhouse gas emissions. There’s hope—and a solution.


Agriculture is perfectly poised to play a major role in the solution to the climate crisis. By helping young farmers gain access to land, everyone can help play a role. Illustration by Jon Adams, courtesy of The Perennial Farming Initiative

All of us are familiar with conventional agriculture: the miles upon miles of farmland growing only one crop, the destructive tillage that wafts soil and its stored carbon into the air and into our waterways; the use of hundreds of chemicals including pesticides like chlorpyrifos that have been found to cause brain damage in children; the confined facilities that are both cruel to animals and make their impact on the Earth an assault rather than a gift.

I first started writing about [regenerative agriculture] farmers back in 2011, when there were more amazing anecdotes than studies, but that has changed. Entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren published a study with his former student Claire LaCanne in 2018. The study followed 10 cornfields per farm on 20 farms over two growing seasons, half of which were regenerative and half conventional. The study tracked soil carbon, insect pests, corn yield, and profits.

The results give the imprimatur of science to the successes regenerative farmers have reported for years. Lundgren and LaCanne found that there were more pests in the conventional cornfields that were treated with insecticides and/or used GMO seeds than in the pesticide-free regenerative fields, presumably because the cover crops attracted battalions of predator insects that decimated crop pests—and because there were no insecticides to kill off those beneficials.

And while the regenerative farms used older, lower-yielding corn varieties without fertilizer and had lower yields, their overall profits were 78% higher than the conventional farmers’. Partly, this was because the regenerative farmers’ costs were so much lower, with no cash outlays for costly insecticides and GMO seeds. They also “stacked enterprises” and had two or more sources of income on the same acre—in this case, they grazed their cattle on corn residue after harvest and got a premium price for pastured beef. What was the primary factor correlating with farm profitability? The amount of carbon and organic matter in the farmers’ fields, not their yields.

The venerable soil scientist Rattan Lal was one of the first people to connect the loss of soil carbon caused by destructive farming to the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In a 2018 interview with Soil4Climate, Lal said that he and his colleagues estimated that regenerating landscapes—farms, forests, coastlands, and so on—could restore up to 150 gigatons (a gigaton equals 1 billion tons) of carbon to the world’s soil in 80 years. All the extra vegetation grown to put that carbon in the soil would store 150–160 gigatons more, resulting in a terrestrial biosphere holding an additional 330 gigatons of carbon, equal to a drawdown of 150 to 160 parts per million of CO2 from the atmosphere. “We should encourage the policy makers that this process of restoring degraded soils and ecosystems is a win, win, win option,” Lal says. “It’s a bridge to the future.”

Several of the Democratic presidential hopefuls have added agriculture to their climate platforms—most notably Rep. Tim Ryan, who proposes policies to support regenerative agriculture and soil carbon sequestration. Just this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren added to her climate platform a sweeping plan to overhaul agricultural policy, while Sen. Cory Booker announced he would propose the Climate Stewardship Act to the Senate in September; both would pay farmers for conservation practices.

And farmers of the future are ready to take it on.

“Agriculture is perfectly poised to play a major role in the solution to the climate crisis,” says Bilal Sarwari, membership and communications manager of the National Young Farmers Coalition. “By helping young farmers gain access to land, everyone can help play a role.” MORE


With New Perennial Grain, a Step Forward for Eco-Friendly Agriculture
Restoring soil can help address climate change

How eliminating food waste can help the fight against climate change

‘People need to be aware and learn how their choices contribute to the problems that we face,’ expert says

Food waste occurs from farm to fridge and, according to the latest IPCC report, is contributing to CO2 emissions. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There’s a strange smell coming from your kitchen, and you finally trace the scent to its point of origin: the fridge. You dig through reusable containers full of mouldy food, toss the wilting lettuce into the compost bin, and are too afraid to open the sour cream leftover from a nacho night held months ago, so you toss the whole thing into the garbage.

This is food waste — and it’s contributing to climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report Thursday, entitled Climate Change and Land, that found better land management use — from forests to agriculture — would play a significant role in mitigating climate change.

But the authors also noted that tackling food waste is a factor that could help limit warming to 1.5 C to 2 C, the point where we will be unable to adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

Reducing food loss and waste can, in turn, lower greenhouse gas emissions for an obvious reason: Less waste means less land is needed for food production.

The IPCC report notes that roughly 25 to 30 per cent of total food produced annually is lost or wasted — and that has consequences. From 2010 to 2016, global food loss and waste contributed eight to 10 per cent of human-caused GHG emissions.

Waste from land to homes

Not all the waste comes from households; much of it comes from another source: Farms.

That’s why the report’s authors suggest that improved harvesting methods, on-farm storage, better packaging and education can significantly reduce agricultural food waste.

Together with these improvements, as well as overall improvements to land use and the reduction of fossil fuels, the report’s 107 authors (who come from 52 countries) conclude that humanity will greatly benefit across the board. MORE




Avoiding meat and dairy could reduce your carbon footprint from food by nearly three-quarters

Eating a vegan diet could be the “single biggest way” to reduce your environmental impact on earth, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent.

Meanwhile, if everyone stopped eating these foods, they found that global farmland use could be reduced by 75 per cent, an area equivalent to the size of the US, China, Australia and the EU combined.

Not only would this result in a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, it would also free up wild land lost to agriculture, one of the primary causes for mass wildlife extinction.

The new study, published in the journal Science, is one of the most comprehensive analyses to date into the detrimental effects farming can have on the environment and included data on nearly 40,000 farms in 119 countries.

The findings reveal that meat and dairy production is responsible for 60 per cent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions, while the products themselves providing just 18 per cent of calories and 37 per cent of protein levels around the world. MORE

New energy efficient buildings aren’t enough, experts say — we have to retrofit the old ones, too

Canada Green Building Council says building sector has tremendous opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint

Vancouver’s The Exchange hotel was formerly the Vancouver Stock Exchange. It’s now waiting on its LEED plantinum certification. (The Exchange)

The Canada Green Building Conference is taking place in Vancouver this week, and a major portion of the program will be pushing the need to retrofit older buildings to reduce their carbon footprint.

Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council, says buildings contribute about 30 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions — mostly because of their heating, lighting, and cooling systems.

Cities like Vancouver have taken the lead in constructing low-emission buildings. But Mueller says new buildings alone won’t be enough for Canada to reach its targets to reduce greenhouse gases.

“We can’t build our way out of it,” Mueller said in a phone interview ahead of the conference.

Green development advocates like Mueller say the building sector may be one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, but it also has “tremendous opportunity” to affect change.

“It’s the only sector in our economy where we actually have a financial benefit by doing the right thing,” he said.

Retrofitting options

There are about 250,000 large buildings in Canada, Mueller says.

To reduce their carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, up to 60,000 of the existing buildings over 25,000 square feet would need to become 20 to 40 per cent more efficient.

Older buildings can be made more efficient through improvements like installing double-glazed windows, more efficient furnaces and LED lights. MORE


Canadian homes and businesses could have much smaller carbon footprint by 2050, says joint IEA-NEB report

Is Ontario really doing its fair share on climate change?

ANALYSIS: The Tories often point out how well Ontario stacks up against other provinces when it comes to reducing emissions — but look beyond the national average, and the comparisons are less flattering

a smoke stack
Under the Liberals, Ontario was supposed to have 37 per cent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions in 2030 than it did in 1990; under the Tories, the 2030 target has been reduced to 30 per cent below 2005 levels. (Stephen C. Host/CP)

Last month, Ontario’s environment minister, Rod Phillips, stepped up to a podium at a convenience store in north Toronto and delivered an attack on the federal carbon tax.

His argument was one that the Tories have used many times before: the province is doing its “fair share” — more than its fair share, in fact — to fight climate change.

“While Ontario has reduced its carbon emissions by 22 per cent since 2005,” he said, “the rest of Canada has increased emissions by 6 per cent.”

The implication is that the province has done so much already that it can afford to step back from the climate-change targets set by the previous government. Under Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals, Ontario was supposed to have 37 per cent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions in 2030 than it did in 1990. Under the Progressive Conservatives, the 2030 target has been reduced to 30 per cent below 2005 levels.

But why insist that Ontarians need to do more than that when they’ve already done so much compared to the rest of the country? It seems like a fair and straightforward question.

Canada becomes first country to sign pledge for zero emission commercial vehicles

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the transportation sector is Canada’s second-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions at 24 per cent in 2017.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and Equiterre co-founder Steven Guilbeault attend an announcement at global Clean Energy Ministerial meetings in Vancouver on May 29, 2019. Photo by Jennifer Gauthier

Canada has become the first country to sign on to the Drive to Zero Pledge, an international initiative aimed at increasing the number of zero and low emission vehicles in the medium- and heavy-duty transportation sector.

By signing the pledge, Canada is joining other partners, including municipal governments, in committing to eliminate barriers and implement mechanisms that accelerate the viability and growth of zero emission technology for these commercial vehicles.

“It’s so important that we look at our medium- and heavy-duty vehicles … our buses and trucks. We can be doing a lot better,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, who announced Canada’s commitment in Vancouver on Tuesday during a global clean energy summit hosted by Natural Resources Canada.

The Clean Energy Ministerial event brought government officials, clean energy experts and private sector stakeholders from more than 25 countries together to exchange ideas for advancing the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

“This is a huge opportunity,” McKenna added. “It’s the excitement about seeing [Canadian] companies … that are really moving the dial.”

The Drive to Zero Pledge is spearheaded by CALSTART, a California-based non-profit and broker for the clean transportation technology industry. The goal of the campaign is to make zero emission technology commercially viable in “beachhead” or smaller markets by 2025, building up to the domination of zero emission technology in commercial vehicle sales globally by 2040. These medium- and heavy-duty vehicles range from box trucks to school buses to eighteen wheelers.

Drive to Zero partners include cities, manufacturers, fleets, fuel suppliers, and now, Canada. The B.C. government and the City of Vancouver have also signed on. MORE