Quebec pledges to support cleaner trucks and buses

California-based CALSTART, the Government of Quebec, and the City of New York hosted a Drive to Zero workshop event at Climate Week NYC

Benoit Charette, Quebec Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, at the Drive To Zero event in New York last week. Benoit Charette photo via Twitter.

Trucks, buses, even port and garbage trucks are among the many types of vehicles undergoing a technology shift as the world transitions to clean energy.

Last week, the province of Quebec announced it has agreed to support and increase the use of low- and zero-emission commercial vehicles.  By signing the agreement, Quebec joins Canada, the province of B.C., and the City of Vancouver, which have all signed the Drive to Zero Pledge at an event co-hosted by Clean Energy Canada in May.

“Quebec is home to leading zero-emission bus and truck manufacturers, meaning Quebec is not only pledging to reduce emissions—but also supporting local industry,” said Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada.

The pledge came as California-based CALSTART, the Government of Quebec, and the City of New York hosted a Drive to Zero workshop event at Climate Week NYC last week.  The event explored ways to increase the use of low- and zero-emission commercial vehicles in the Northeastern U.S. and Eastern Canada.

The pledge encourages countries, jurisdictions, transit providers, and manufacturers to work together to lower—and eventually eliminate—emissions from the commercial transportation sector.

Transport is responsible for roughly 25 per cent of Canadian emissions, with freight transportation making up around 10 per cent of that number.

“Canada is well-positioned to be among the leaders transitioning to zero-emission commercial fleets, delivering both environmental and economic benefits,” said Smith. “We’re a big country and we move a lot of freight by truck. Shifting to zero-emission trucks and buses will cut both carbon pollution and fuel costs. It’s a win-win.”

In March, a Clean Energy Canada report found that despite being home to several leading electric bus manufacturers, Canada has been slow to adopt electric buses compared to cities like Los Angeles, which is aiming to fully electrify its bus fleet by 2030.

Saint-Jérôme-based electric bus manufacturer Lion Electric Company, for instance, provides Quebec-made electric buses, particularly school buses, as well as delivery trucks to the North American—largely Californian—market. Saint-Eustache-based Nova Bus makes a range of bus types—including electric buses.

Quebec’s pledge comes as cities in the province are already moving toward zero-emission commercial vehicles. Montreal transit provider Société de transport de Montréal, which already has several electric buses on the road, has committed to providing 100 per cent zero-emission transit by 2040. It is joined by several other Canadian transit agencies, including the Toronto Transit Commission, BC Transit and TransLink, which also have goals to create zero-emission fleets.


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