$3 million invested in zero-emission trucking projects including new testbed

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The federal government will invest $1.5 million to establish a “zero-emission trucking testbed” in the Montreal area – one of three new initiatives under its Zero-Emission Trucking Program.

The Quebec-based project, launched with FPInnovations, represents the largest of the investments unveiled Thursday to support work in medium- and heavy-duty on-road applications. It will focus on collecting performance data in real-world conditions.

Another $1.3 million will support zero-emission projects in B.C. and Nova Scotia. In B.C. the funds will be used for commercial vehicle pilots, training, and knowledge-sharing activities, while the Nova Scotia funds will study technical needs such as refueling and recharging infrastructure, and develop guidelines to inform the adoption of medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles, Transport Canada says.

Lion Electric truck
(File photo: Lion Electric)

FPInnovations testbed

FPInnovations will study at least five battery-electric vehicles operated by a minimum of three fleets between March 2024 and March 2025, said Mark Partington, manager – transportation and infrastructure.

“It’s not a controlled test like on a track,” he told TruckNews.com. The project will “instrument and monitor” how battery-electric Class 8 trucks perform in real-world settings — and compare the trucks to diesel-powered equipment performing similar work on the same routes.

“We’ll be installing and instrumenting the trucks using advanced telematics, and we’ll work with that data to evaluate different performance metrics,” he said, referring to factors such as routes, weather, and traffic conditions. Drivers will also provide their impressions about the vehicles.

The trucks will include a mix of equipment on the road today, as well as some implemented to support the study, Partington added.

The final report will be delivered by March 2025.

Provincial projects

In B.C., the available funding will be provided to the provincial Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation and leverage the Go Electric Commercial Vehicle Pilots Program.

It will support “ambitious knowledge sharing activities to broadly share findings from the pilots,” a Transport Canada spokesperson said, responding to questions from TruckNews.com. Funding will also help develop regulations and training curricula.

“For contribution funding to the province of Nova Scotia [Department of Public Works], the funded project will undertake research, technical analysis and fleet modeling, and policy analysis to inform the development of standards and guidelines for the electrification of Nova Scotia’s provincial fleets,” they added.

“Funding will also provide recommendations for curricula development and training for support staff and the placement of required refueling [and] recharging infrastructure.”

Federal funding

The federal funding adds to a previously announced call for proposal under the Zero-Emission Trucking Program that runs until Oct. 3, offering eligible zero-emission trucking projects up to $1 million.

“Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles contribute significantly to pollution in Canada, and our government remains committed to helping the trucking industry transition towards cleaner alternatives. Today’s announcement is great news for the sector in helping facilitate that transition,” Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez said in a press release.

All new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will need to be zero-emission models where feasible by 2040, while on-road transportation is to generate net-zero emissions by 2050.

  • This is a breaking news story and has been updated with information from FPInnovations.
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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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