Funding for transit and automotive manufacturing targets zero emissions vehicles
Canada is on the road to a greener future, but we still have a long way to go. One of the biggest culprits when it comes to environmental issues is the transportation industry. Canada’s second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is transportation, which currently accounts for 25 per cent of the country’s total GHG emissions.
Along with 120 other countries, Canada has committed to reaching a target of zero emissions by 2050. To aid with attaining this goal, the government has mandated 100 per cent zero emission vehicle (ZEV) sales by 2035.
This mandate means the automotive manufacturing industry, along with transit, will have to undergo massive changes to the way they conceptualize, build, deploy and maintain their vehicles. A transportation ecosystem and infrastructure overhaul will be required, along with a new approach to how vehicles are marketed, selected, and used by consumers.
Driving ZEV sales forward
Canada’s ZEV market share has grown in the last few years, with sales of zero emissions vehicles coming in at 3.8 per cent in 2020, up from 2.3% in 2018.
At the consumer level, the government has already invested over $1 billion to help increase zero-emission vehicle adoption.
July 26-30, 2021, marked #EVWEEKinCanada, which the government used as an opportunity to announce $32 million in funding toward installing 853 electric vehicle chargers across Canada. In addition, the funding will also help raise public awareness with a goal of improving adoption.
Another $50 thousand investment was made to support a virtual ZEV showroom, also helping raise awareness regarding ZEV’s contribution toward a clean energy future.
The Zero-Emissions Vehicles (iZev) Program was launched to encourage consumers to consider purchasing a ZEV in lieu of a traditional one. The program offers and incentive of up to $5 thousand toward the purchase or lease of eligible ZEV vehicles.
However, raising public awareness and adoption at the consumer level means automobile manufacturers, municipalities and transit corporations must be ready to supply the vehicles and infrastructure needed to support the demand.
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The government has launched several programs recently that are aimed at ensuring Canada is moving forward with its ZEV strategy at all levels, including municipal and industrial. These include:
Zero Emission Transit Fund: This$2.75 billion Zero Emission Transit Fund offers funding to public transit and school bus operators across the country who are electrifying their fleets. The fund will also be used to help purchase 5,000 zero emission buses over the next five years. The maximum amount awarded per applicant is $350 million.
Green Municipal Fund. Capital Project: This program aims to reduce fossil fuel use in fleets, and all Canadian municipal governments can apply. This funding helps Canadian cities and communities of all sizes undertake environmental sustainability projects that reduce energy consumption/greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and improve their air quality.
Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program: This 5-year, $280 million program ends in 2024. Its objective is to address the lack of charging and refuelling stations in the country, which is one of the key barriers to ZEV adoption. The goal is to increase the availability of localized charging and hydrogen refuelling stations in areas that are easily accessible to Canadians. The maximum amount awarded per applicant is $5 million.
Finally, this week, it was announced that Canadian automotive manufacturing projects will be awarded $40 million as part of the Canadian ZEV challenge.
NGen, the industry-led organization behind Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, will be contributing $20 million to fund the project, helping strengthen the Canadian automobile manufacturing sector’s ability to transition to zero emission vehicles. An additional $20 million will be invested by the automotive industry. The funding will be used for R&D geared toward manufacturing innovation, as well as key design projects.
As Canada continues to work toward achieving its 2035 and 2050 goals, new programs and strategic investments will continue to be launched to help both consumers and industry adopt a ZEV future.