Emissions free truck
Scania is the latest manufacturer to pledge to Drive to Zero. Image: Scania CV AB

The Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero programme has expanded its multinational push for zero emission trucks and buses.

Nine nations – Canada, China, Chile, Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden – are to collaborate on growing the manufacture, infrastructure and deployment of zero emission commercial vehicles.

The Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero is a programme of the US clean transportation technology accelerator CALSTART. It aims for zero emission technology to become commercially competitive by 2025 and dominant by 2040 in specific vehicle segments and regions.

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The nine nations will work collaboratively with over 80 government, city, industry, fleet and utility partners. Their aim is to identify best practices to support and accelerate the growing zero emission commercial vehicle market and to eliminate the barriers to development and adoption.

“The announcement reflects a rapid growing awareness about the near-term commercial prospects of zero emission trucks and buses,” says John Boesel, president and CEO of CALSTART. “By joining the programme and coordinating policies across nations, we’ll be able to more quickly to achieve global economies of scale.”

Zero emission vehicles, particularly electric vehicles, are growing rapidly in the passenger market. However, the commercial vehicle sector has lagged due to requirements such as high utilisation rates and long distance availability. Nevertheless, decarbonisation of this sector is inevitable, and mandates are starting to appear.

In June California became the first state in the US to mandate that all commercial trucks and vans sold must be zero emission by 2045. An earlier 2018 state mandate has all new city buses electric by 2029.

Drive to Zero strategy

Drive to Zero’s strategy is targeted to first-success markets where electrification works now, building support with policies, incentives, infrastructure investments and pilot projects. At the same time it seeks to work collaboratively across regions and industry to encourage a global supply chain of critical components and manufacturers.

Target countries include China, Canada, US, India, Japan and Mexico and Europe and South America.

Drive to Zero ‘pledge partners’ include manufacturers, government and other industry players. Energy sector supporters include the utilities San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, and providers Black & Veatch and Siemens.

The programme also has been adopted as a new campaign of the Clean Energy Ministerial under its Electric Drive Initiative.