CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero officially welcomed as new Clean Energy Ministerial campaign

September 22, 2020

RIYADH – Today at the 11th Clean Energy Ministerial’s (CEM) plenary event, the Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero was officially welcomed as a new campaign of CEM. HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, Energy Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia oversaw the event, which focused on supporting a strong, clean economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Drive to Zero is honored to become a campaign of CEM. This new designation creates multiple avenues for strategic yet widespread global collaboration and action between governments and the private sector,” said Dr. Cristiano Façanha, Global Director of CALSTART’s Drive to Zero program and campaign. “Together, we are eager to create urban centers worldwide where state-of-the-art medium and heavy-duty zero-emission commercial vehicles and infrastructure, along with the related economic, clean air and climate benefits are plentiful and equitable.”

The Clean Energy Ministerial is a global forum for top energy ministers designed to drive forward policies and programs that advance clean energy technology. CEM includes 25 countries and the European Commission representing roughly 90 percent of global clean energy investments and 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. CEM campaigns are noted efforts designed to raise visibility and target global resources to those campaigns that have a strong potential for transformative impact in the clean technology sector. Drive to Zero’s goal is to drive market viability for zero-emission commercial vehicles in key vehicle segments in urban communities by 2025 and achieve full market penetration by 2040.

“Our economy depends on the efficient movement of goods. Greener commercial vehicles will lower global emissions. I call upon other governments and the private sector to join us in the campaign,” said the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. Minister O’Regan made these comments last week at a CEM pre-event celebrating the tenth year of the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI). CEM’s Electric Vehicles Initiative is aimed at accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles worldwide.

During the same pre-event, Canada, China, Chile, Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden announced they would work collaboratively – under the auspices of the Drive to Zero campaign and program – to grow zero-emission commercial vehicle manufacturing, infrastructure and deployment at home and globally.

“The announcement by several new nations to join the Drive to Zero campaign reflects a rapid growing awareness about the near-term commercial prospects of zero-emission trucks and buses. By joining the program and coordinating policies across nations, we’ll be able to more quickly achieve global economies of scale,” said John Boesel, President and CEO of clean transportation technology accelerator CALSTART.

These new partner nations and over 80 government, city, industry, fleet and utility partners will work together to identify best practices to support and accelerate the growing zero-emission commercial vehicle market, eliminate barriers to development and adoption, and coordinate among stakeholders to grow the zero-emission commercial vehicle segment. In addition to the new national government partners announced last week, Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania also took the pledge to Drive to Zero. All of the goals and benchmarks of Drive to Zero are outlined in the pledge.

These growing international efforts to catalyze the zero-emission commercial vehicle market come in the wake of a number of new policies aimed at putting more zero-emission trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles on the road.

  • The Netherlands is creating a network of as many as 30 zero-emission zones in cities across the nation that will restrict traffic to zero-emission vehicles.
  • Norway has created zero-emission distribution hubs in Oslo to allow delivery trucks in the city to charge and load.
  • Germany is requiring all fueling stations to provide EV charging and investing on electrified roadways.
  • Japan is supporting a network of hydrogen refueling stations that will support zero-emission commercial vehicles.
  • Chile has committed to a major expansion of zero emission bus routes in Santiago.
  • The California Air Resources Board, an influential sub-national Drive to Zero partner, adopted the landmark Advanced Clean Trucks rule, or ACT. ACT calls on commercial truck and van manufacturers to begin selling zero-emission vehicles by 2024 in California. All new commercial trucks and vans sold in the state must be zero-emissions by 2045.
  • Governors from 15 states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – and the District of Columbia agreed to collaboratively develop strategies to build strong markets for zero-emission commercial vehicles. They will aim to get to 100 percent zero-emission sales for all new commercial trucks and buses by 2050.

“These multi-region, cross-partisan commitments demonstrate the groundswell of support zero-emission commercial vehicles enjoy across the United States and around the world. A growing number of policymakers are understanding the viability of the technology. And they appreciate advancing zero-emission commercial vehicles provides enormous air quality benefits to low income communities,” said Bill Van Amburg, Executive Vice President of CALSTART.

Drive to Zero “pledge partners” include top manufacturers, fleets, government, infrastructure and other leaders like BYD, New Flyer Industries, Arrival, IKEA’s Ingka Group, Ryder, Black and Veatch, Siemens, the California Air Resources Board, the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Oslo, Vancouver and many others. For a full list of Drive to Zero pledge partners, visit our website.

Drive to Zero has a new video explaining the campaign and program’s strategy and its reach, while featuring clips of zero-emission commercial refuse trucks, delivery vans, buses and trucks on the road today. To view Drive to Zero’s new video, visit our website.

All CEM events are being hosted by Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and held virtually due to COVID-19.

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A national nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado and California, CALSTART partners with 250+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient and clean high-tech transportation industry. We knock out barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.