CALSTART’s Drive to Zero to convene zero-emission fleet leaders IKEA and FedEx, funding leaders CORE, NY Green Bank, NextEra Energy at VERGE 20

Zero-emission fleet & finance leaders on growing ZE truck and bus market, financing mechanisms to speed adoption in midst of e-commerce boom

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Oct.28, 2020 @ 11:30am PT – 12:30pm PT

Journalists register for VERGE 20 here.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – In the midst of an e-commerce boom powered by vehicles that pollute, CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero program and campaign (Drive to Zero™) will convene global innovation leaders at the VERGE 20 online event to explore strategies to accelerate the growth of zero-emission commercial vehicles. Drive to Zero will host IKEA’s Ingka Group, FedEx, the Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE), the NY Green Bank and NextEra Energy at two panels today at VERGE 20. These fleet, finance and clean energy leaders will discuss collaboration and partnership opportunities, innovative financing tools to accelerate adoption, as well as mechanisms to speed manufacturing and zero-emission commercial vehicle model proliferation.

“E-commerce – a sector that was already on the rise – has, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, tracked massive increases in 2020. The zero-emission commercial vehicle segment addresses the converging environmental, urban air quality and business challenges the current e-commerce boom has created,” said Dr. Cristiano Façanha, Global Director of the Drive to Zero program and campaign. “By working quickly, strategically and collaboratively to accelerate adoption in key regions through coordinated policies, partnerships and financing, these vehicles can effectively serve both consumer and business interests.”

Citing corporate responsibility, air quality and environmental concerns, fleets like IKEA and FedEx are already setting ambitious goals for electrification.

“More trucks on the road delivering more products does not have to translate into more pollution. IKEA pledges to have 100 percent zero-emission home deliveries by 2025 because we believe that sustainability is good business,” said Angela Hultberg, Head of Sustainable Mobility at IKEA Retail, Ingka Group. “By working with public and private partners who share our vision for zero-emission deliveries, we can create a cleaner climate and better air quality for many people.”

“FedEx made the largest commercial electric vehicle purchase in the United States when we purchased 1,000 Chanje electric delivery vehicles last year,” said Russ Musgrove, Managing Director at FedEx Express. “We see the investment in zero-emission vehicles as an investment in our customers and we would like to do more. With strong incentives and diverse zero-emission commercial vehicle models to meet our needs, we look forward to continuing this good work.”

Key to accelerating the adoption of zero-emission commercial vehicles is the continued growth of existing, emerging, and new  financing tools, like point-of-sale discounts, all-in leases, and climate funding. One such innovative financing tool, CORE, enables rapid scaling of zero-emission technologies, by making zero-emission commercial vehicle sticker prices comparable to those of diesel vehicles. CORE, a project of the California Air Resources Board, gives freight equipment users point-of-sale discounts of up to $500K to purchase commercialized zero-emission, off-road freight equipment.

“CORE just marked its first year, providing tens of millions in discounts for California purchasers of clean-tech freight and infrastructure,” said Niki Okuk, who administers the program as CALSTART’s Alternative Fuels Program Manager. “We closed our first round of funding with many more tens of millions of dollars in requests for CORE discounts from purchasers. The demand for these zero-emission vehicles is high and users are looking for support with up-front costs.”

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. The program and campaign is built upon a strategic blueprint for change called “The Beachhead Strategy.” It identifies the commercial vehicle market segments where zero-emission technologies are most likely to succeed first. Those are typically urban applications – like transit buses – where vehicles operate along known routes and can charge overnight at depots. These “first wave” technology segments contribute to the growth and development of other segments where technologies can directly transfer. The Beachhead Strategy aligns closely with the market and product strategies of major truck and component makers worldwide.

Last month the governments of 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 commercial vehicle manufacturing, infrastructure and deployment at home and globally. These 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. All of the goals and benchmarks of Drive to Zero are outlined in the pledge.

The VERGE 20 online event is convening more than 10,000 leaders from the private and public sectors, utilities, solution providers, investors, and startups to advance systemic solutions to address the climate crisis through five key markets: clean energy, electrified transportation, the circular economy, carbon removal and sustainable food systems.

To attend VERGE 20, journalists may request free press passes here.

CALSTART | Changing transportation for good

A national nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado and California and partners world-wide, CALSTART works 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.

Contact: Roxanna Smith, Roxanna.smith@globaldrivetozero.org, +1 510.326.0390