New initiative brings expertise to Montreal fleet managers looking to electrify light-duty trucks
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EV Fleets
Feb 25, 2020
Luke Sarabia

Turnkey program funded by Québec government aims to electrify 50 trucks in Montreal area and could be eventually expanded to include all of Québec and Canada

A refrigerated IGA electric light duty truck. Photo: Earth Day Canada

Turnkey program funded by Québec government aims to electrify 50 trucks in Montreal area and could be eventually expanded to include all of Québec and Canada

Earth Day Canada has announced Transition Wow, a new turnkey program which will facilitate the electrification of 50 light-duty trucks for businesses in the Montreal metropolitan area over the next three years.

Transition Wow will fully coordinate the replacement of an internal combustion engine with an electric motor in eligible light-duty trucks. It will supply fleet managers with a needs assessment and coordinate the conversion transaction with suppliers. Managers will also receive after-sales service and vehicle maintenance, including charging station installation, performance monitoring and assistance with government grant requests.

The government of Québec will supply $158,000 in funding for the program through its Metropolitan Initiative and Outreach Fund, which was established to stimulate Montreal’s economic, social and cultural activity.

“Wow Transition [provides] a practical tool for fleet managers looking to improve their environmental performance”

Pierre Lussier, Director, Earth Day Canada

More than 350,000 cargo vans are currently in use in the Montreal region, and transportation accounts for 43 per cent of Québec’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The electrification of one gasoline light-duty gasoline truck, according to Earth Day Canada, will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by around nine tonnes per year.

While it is currently available only to Montreal-based businesses, the program could eventually be expanded to electrify vehicles in the rest of Québec or Canada, according to Earth Day Canada.

“Its a small scale-program right now. We’re trying to search for prices, trying to determine what the best services are that we can offer to fleet managers before scaling,” Pierre Lussier, director of Earth Day Canada, told Electric Autonomy.

“It’s definitely something we’d like to bring into the GTA as soon as we can.”

Progress in electrification

Earth Day, which has been celebrated on April 22 since 1970, was founded as a non-profit organization in France and Canada in 1990. It describes itself as the world’s largest environmental movement, with more than a billion people in 193 countries participating in Earth Day activities each year.  

The Transition Wow program follows Earth Day Canada’s 2018 collaboration with IGA, in which it electrified four refrigerated light trucks for the grocery retailer. The trucks were the first electric vehicles of their kind in Canada.

An IGA Ecotuned light duty electric truck
A 2018 IGA Ecotuned light duty electric truck. Photo: Earth Day Canada

“Transition Wow builds on the success of our past collaborations in the area of electrification to offer a concrete tool to fleet managers who wish to improve their environmental impact,” said Lussier.

“Cargo vans are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec. Our goal with Transition Wow is to offer a quick and easy solution to this issue, which will accelerate the sector’s energy transition.”

Canadian corporations are increasingly looking to fleet electrification to reduce the economic and environmental impact of operating a large number of vehicles. Some, however, still find that supply issues stand in the way of electrification, especially for heavy-duty vehicles.  

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