The discussion began with a review of the two key recommendations from the report 1) that a high level provincial led decision tree for energy and transportation should be created and following that, 2) a transportation strategy and roadmap should be created that defines how the transportation sector will decarbonize in step with changes to the energy pathway and infrastructure.
The panelists agreed with the key recommendations and saw them as way to move the industry in line with CleanBC goals, and most importantly, to move into action.
There was some discussion around the recommendation to provide funding and financing mechanisms that will encourage innovation and adoption of clean long-haul trucks. While long-haul trucks are important, the immediate focus should be on short haul transport vehicles, as long-haul trucks are a low margin business and the vehicles have 20-25 year life spans. The economics and cost effectiveness of the long-haul trucks do not lend themselves to a simple or rapid transformation to low-carbon fuels.
They agreed on the importance of a cluster in terms of driving innovation and change in the sector and see the CORE Cleantech Cluster as playing a key role in:
- Influencing funding. Funding is often the biggest hurdle, especially for heavy duty trucks and long haul vehicles. There are mechanisms available, but it requires committment and decision-making.
- Accelerate adoption of technologies through closing innovation gaps and making industry connections.
- Help drive customer demand. Often, the technology is there, or very close, but the market demand isn’t there yet. The CORE Cleantech Cluster could help get that message out
Special thanks to our guest speakers Dorota Kwasnik from the Vancouver Port Authority, Dave Earl from BC Trucking and Daniel Breton from Electric Mobility Canada.