electric vehicle driving along country road with canadian parliament building overlayed in background
Natural Resources Canada has launched a new call for proposals under its Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI). The funding will support Canadian projects that “increase awareness and knowledge of ZEVs and charging and refueling infrastructure thereby increasing public confidence in these vehicles and their economic and environmental benefits.”

Up to $300,000 will be awarded to eligible applicants through this most recent call for proposals for funding from NRCan’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative, open until August 18

Natural Resources Canada has launched a new call for proposals under its Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI).

The NRCan funding will support Canadian projects that “increase awareness and knowledge of ZEVs and charging and refueling infrastructure thereby increasing public confidence in these vehicles and their economic and environmental benefits.”

Specifically, the call for proposals is targeting “on passenger e-mobility — light-duty vehicles (LDV) and micro-mobility solutions — awareness and education projects with a strong emphasis on equity, diversity and inclusion,” reads the funding materials.

“Through the Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative, we’re equipping Canadians with the knowledge they need to confidently make the switch to a zero-emission vehicle,” said Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson in the press release.

“Ensuring easy access to EVs across Canada is a critical part of our plan to lower emissions and achieve our climate goals. Through these and similar investments, we are putting more Canadians in the driver’s seat on the road to a net-zero future.”

Projects run by for-profit organizations are eligible to receive up to 50 per cent of project costs, while projects run by non-profit or Indigenous organizations are eligible for up to 75 per cent of project costs to a maximum of $300,000.

According to NRCan, 66 per cent of Canadians have never been in or driven an electric vehicle, but 83 per cent say they would like to test drive one. Projects funded through ZEVAI are meant to reduce barriers to accessing ZEVs and help to close the gap in consumer knowledge.

Examples of eligible projects

Since 2019, ZEVAI has provided funds to accelerate zero-emission vehicle adoption through outreach, education, and capacity-building activities for almost 50 projects across Canada.

Past successful applicants of ZEVAI include Electric Autonomy Canada, which received funding in February to create a new digital platform that will provide fleets with awareness, education and resources as to the benefits of EV adoption and the best approaches to achieving it.

Government guidelines give some examples of what possible project proposals can comprise of, but are not limited to:

  • Developing and implementing novel targeted outreach and awareness campaigns;
  • Creating new web-based resources or information portals;
  • Demonstrating the potential of ZEVs and showcasing vehicles through test drive and trial programs, mobile showcases, ambassador or mentorship programs, and other programs, including in underserved areas;
  • Undertaking actions to increase knowledge and visibility of EV charging infrastructure and technologies for personal vehicles and micro-mobility solutions;
  • Undertaking actions to increase workplace charging awareness among employees across multiple companies;
  • Increasing knowledge of EV charging options and technologies among potential end-users such as commercial fleets; and
  • Developing curriculum, training material, or best practices guides and educational tools for targeted audiences or for all Canadians.

NRCan will not support any repeat or extended projects that have already been previously undertaken by the organization. NRCan funding is also not available for annual events hosted by organizations.

NRCan also says a separate ZEVAI call for proposals for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will follow at a later time.

The current ZEVAI call for proposals will close on Aug. 18.

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