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Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative — Medium- and heavy-duty stream

Status: Request for information closed. A call for proposals is anticipated in late 2022.

This Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI) Request for Information (RFI) collected information to gauge the interest and readiness levels of projects that would advance knowledge, awareness, and confidence in medium- and heavy-duty zero emission or lower-carbon vehicles. This can include battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and natural gas-powered vehicles (i.e., renewable natural gas), engine repowers and conversions, as well as fuel-efficient retrofits, fleet assessments and smart logistics. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV) are those that weigh more than 8,500 lbs, including large pickup trucks, delivery vans, refuse trucks, buses, and long-haul freight trucks (Class 2B to 8). The RFI has now closed and information collected will inform an anticipated call for proposals. Upon launch of a call for proposals, notification will be provided on NRCan’s web pages, and a formal application guide will be provided.

Medium - and heavy-duty stream projects

The objective of the ZEVAI-MHDV stream will be to support projects—via cost-shared contribution agreements—that increase awareness, knowledge, and confidence in zero emission or low-carbon vehicles among fleet owners, drivers, and the general public. A call for proposals under this stream would help fund outreach, education, and capacity-building activities, enabling greater adoption of ZEVs and lower-carbon vehicles in the MHDV sector in all regions of the country.

Indigenous led projects

Indigenous owned/led projects could receive funding of up to 75% of total project costs, subject to the maximum contribution amount. Note that NRCan is working on launching an Indigenous awareness stream.

Why is this important?

Freight transportation accounts for 10% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Canada recognizes the importance of reducing emissions from on-road freight, while increasing the competitiveness of the transportation sector. Reducing transportation emissions is critical to achieving the Government’s ambitious climate change commitments and is consistent with the global shift toward zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). 

Zero emission technologies for MHDVs are less commercially ready than those for light duty vehicles, and significant barriers remain to their widespread adoption, including low awareness and confidence among businesses and fleet operators. Overcoming these barriers is key to meeting the Government’s goals under the Emissions Reduction Plan to reduce emissions in the sector.

As part of its efforts to decarbonize the sector, the Government will develop an MHDV regulation to require that all MHDV sales be ZEVs by 2040 for a subset of vehicle types, based on feasibility. In addition, the government's Green Freight Program (GFP) supports efforts to decarbonize the existing internal combustion engine MHDV fleets through incentives towards eligible fuel-reducing activities. These include fleet energy assessments, fleet retrofits, engine repowers, logistical best practices and the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles.

A call for proposals under the ZEVAI-MHDV stream would complement these efforts by supporting education and awareness projects to facilitate greater adoption of zero emission and lower-carbon vehicles in the MHDV sector across Canada.

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