PATHWAYS TO NET ZERO
Transportation of freight by heavy truck
9% of total Canadian emissions in 2018 (42% of transportation emissions), plus the emissions
generated in the oil and gas sector to produce diesel
Options for decarbonization
Hydrogen fuel cell trucks; battery electric trucks; catenary electric trucks
Stage of transition
Nature of the problem today
Up-front costs of vehicles; weight of batteries; fuel production and/or infrastructure;
uncertain investment environment
Other systemic issues
Noise and air pollution, congestion, poor load factors, labour shortages, small profit margins
Opportunities and concerns
For users: reduced maintenance, improved vehicle performance. For communities: reduced air and noise pollution.
Economic development opportunities: Fuel cell tucks: manufacture of fuel cells, vehicle assembly, hydrogen production, accelerating emergence of hydrogen economy; Battery and catenary trucks: battery manufacture, vehicle manufacture.
Concerns: hydrogen safety; appropriate shift to low and zero emission hydrogen supply.
Priorities for action
Policy supports for (a) vehicle development (optimising fuel cell and electric motors for heavy duty road vehicles (b) hydrogen production (from methane with CCS and by electrolysis from renewables) and (c) build out of fueling infrastructure along major transport corridors. These can include R&D subsidies, support for fleet conversions and terminals, public procurement policies, zero emission vehicle standards, development of standards and safety rules, and cross jurisdictional coordination.
Managing grid burden and/or stepwise development of hydrogen production and consumption; integration with connected and autonomous vehicle technologies; transition to zero emission hydrogen (either by ensuring offset availability or shifting entirely to production from net zero electricity).
Indicators of progress
Percent of zero emission vehicle sales; scale of infrastructure build out; value added in zero emission vehicle value chain; carbon intensity of grid or hydrogen used for heavy vehicles