Supporting Canadian Clean Tech Innovation Central to Reaching Emission Targets

Dec. 6, 2016
Last month, the federal government announced that it will increase non-emitting electricity generation from 80 to 90 percent across Canada by 2030 primarily by shutting down coal-fired power generation.

Last month, the federal government announced that it will increase non-emitting electricity generation from 80 to 90 percent across Canada by 2030 primarily by shutting down coal-fired power generation.

The Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) endorses the federal government’s commitment to decarbonize the economy. It will help Canada transition toward a clean energy eco-system including the growth of clean mobility technologies, such as battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles.

CUTRIC’s national consortium of more than 40 private and public sector stakeholders believes Canada can meet visionary clean energy goals by growing efforts to integrate research, development, and commercialization to reduce GHGs and create a healthier, more livable Canada.

CUTRIC was established in 2014 to coordinate innovation needs in advanced and low-emissions transit, transportation and integrated mobility in this country. As a member-driven organization, CUTRIC includes leading companies such as Thales Canada, Nova Bus (a part of Volvo Group), New Flyer Industries, ABB Group, Siemens Canada, and Enbridge Natural Gas Distribution.

CUTRIC supports industry-led research, development and commercialization projects nationally, focusing on battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and compressed and renewable natural gas powertrain and propulsion solutions, light-weighting, Big Data analytics, and cybersecurity for integrated mobility networks.

For the past two years, CUTRIC has been working to coordinate a highly fragmented set of provincial and federal innovation funding mechanisms aimed at supporting research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) in Canada’s transportation and manufacturing sectors. CUTRIC has also been working to overcome a lack of funding for high-risk, high-cost transit-led electrified and advance mobility innovation projects.

Moving ahead with clean tech innovations for a low-carbon mobility economy will be possible with co-financing from private industry members along with municipal, provincial and federal partners. These efforts support a long-term commercialization pathway that will make Canada a global node in the development of next generation of mobility systems.

Encouraging clean energy planning at the federal level will only help to further drive forward innovations in clean technology transportation, leading to job growth and economic development. Decarbonizing the energy economy will help to decrease fossil fuel consumption in transit fleets, and generate jobs locally in the electricity sector by growing the fuel supply chain for e-buses.

CUTRIC is currently leading a world-class (and world-first) Pan-Ontario Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial. This project seeks to design and launch plug-and-play standardized high-powered overhead charging systems for electric buses that charge up on route in Ontario communities. These vehicles possess battery packs ranging from 76 kWh to 200 kWh and they ensure that distributed, grid-friendly energy planning has been integrated from Day One into transit electrification efforts. The project involves two competitive bus manufacturers (Nova Bus and New Flyer Industries), two competitive charging system innovators (ABB Group and Siemens Canada), four Ontario transit agencies, four Ontario utilities, five Canadian universities and the National Research Council. The initiative will set the global standard for on route e-bus charging and integration, and opens the door to decentralized energy storage solutions which may help transit agencies generate carbon credits in the future. The success of this project depends on the decarbonized nature of the electricity grid.

CUTRIC’s end goal is to produce an industrial renaissance in Canada in low-emissions, light-weight, digitally connected, highly efficient, user-friendly mobility systems across all modes of mobility, including bus, rail, auto, and sea-based vehicles within the next five years.

CUTRIC already enjoys the support of Canada’s transportation business community. Their leadership in launching the innovation consortium demonstrates a pent up demand for clean transportation technology innovation in this country.

It is encouraging to see the federal government set climate change and clean energy goals that are achievable. To further support these goals, CUTRIC encourages the government to recognize the extraordinary need for flexible, streamlined and sustainable innovation funding for multi-modal (transit, transportation and integrated mobility) technology projects in partnership with private sector companies that can create jobs within a decarbonized energy landscape.

CUTRIC is an industry-led innovation consortium dedicated to fostering research, development, demonstration and integration (RDD&I) projects focused on zero-emissions, lightweight and autonomous/connected vehicular systems, as well as Big Data solutions for transit and transportation optimization. CUTRIC develops projects in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia with recent activities arising in Alberta in 2016.

About the Author

Josipa Petrunic | Executive Director & CEO

Dr. Josipa Petrunic, is the executive director of the Ontario Electric & Hydrogen Vehicle Advancement Program at the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium. 

The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC)
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