In Memoriam: Catherine Kargas
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In Memoriam
Oct 14, 2021
Electric Autonomy Staff

On October 9, Catherine Kargas died from cancer. A prominent and authoritative figure in the mobility field, Catherine spent her career championing zero-emission solutions. She was 55.

On October 9, Catherine Kargas died from cancer. A prominent and authoritative figure in the mobility field, Catherine spent her career championing zero-emission solutions. She was 55.

It is with great sadness that Electric Autonomy Canada marks the death of Catherine Kargas, aged 55, after living with breast cancer for five years.

“She put up the strongest and most courageous fight against stage 4 breast cancer for five entire years,” reads her obituary. “Despite her diagnosis, not only did she persevere through a multitude of treatments and clinical trials, but she always maintained a positive and optimistic outlook on life in order to stay strong for her family.” 

To say Catherine was a beloved and influential figure in Canada’s zero-emission transportation community would be an understatement. Twice recognized as one of the 10 most-influential minds in mobility — out of a global pool of candidates — Catherine was well known from the halls of parliament, where she was responsible for shaping much of legislation around emission reduction that exists today, to the pews of her church, where she was an equally comforting and effectual presence.

Catherine Kargas photo

Her reach spanned around the world but was especially felt in Canada and Greece where she worked tirelessly throughout her life to bridge the divide of an ocean and bring comfort and care to cancer patients through church work.

Catherine was uncompromising in her beliefs. A picture of Catherine holding a sign that reads, “I believe in a better future for our kids,” remains emblazoned across the top of her social media pages, where her many achievements are listed.

A graduate of McGill University, Catherine catapulted into strategic consulting with MARCON in Montreal starting as an analyst in 1989 and eventually becoming vice-president in 2003. She remained there for 32 years and was a partner when she died.

“Catherine was known and loved in all corners of the world for her passion and dedication to making this world a better place for our children and grandchildren. Her early work in energy efficiency brought her to embrace advanced and clean mobility as a means to reduce greenhouse gases,” reads a family post announcing Catherine’s death on her LinkedIn page.

Catherine Kargas photo

By 2007 Catherine had taken on the vice-chair and director position at the industry association Electric Mobility Canada (EMC). She remained there for 14 years, steering the organization through its formative years, and going on to be the organization’s chair between 2013-2019.

“We all will remember her as a brilliant and dedicated person who always worked for the greater good of the planet in general and electric mobility in particular,” reads a statement from EMC president and CEO, Daniel Breton.

As a result of her work at EMC, Catherine was awarded the Al Cormier Life Achievement Award in electromobility in 2020 and this year she proudly marked an important milestone: over half of Canada’s provinces and territories now offer EV purchase incentives — many as a result of Catherine’s efforts in the space.

Outside of the many conferences, consultations and public stages that she appeared on, Catherine was a central and irreplaceable figure in her family and her community.

She was “an incredible and loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend” reads her family’s tribute. “She was an extremely hardworking woman who raised her daughter to the absolute best of her abilities and watched her turn into a respectful, caring and perseverant adult.”

Catherine Kargas photo

The Electric Autonomy team would like to thank Catherine’s family for sharing her so generously with the zero-emission mobility world so that we could all benefit from her passion, intellect and courage in pursing the dream of a better tomorrow.

Though nothing will replace the loss of Catherine as a hero for the causes she championed and as a lynchpin in the family she cherished, we hope it brings some solace to all who knew her that the achievements and benefits we experience as a country and global community in reducing greenhouse gases and transitioning to a zero-emission world are possible because of Catherine’s work.

The impact Catherine had will be felt for generations and we are running today because Catherine walked and allowed us to stand on her shoulders along the way.

Our sympathies to Catherine’s community, near and far, who are grieving her death.

Catherine’s family indicates that wishes can be sent to her family at [email protected] and donations in her memory can be sent to a special fund created for the purpose of building the Catherine Kargas Shelter for Cancer Patients in Athens, Greece. See the image below if you wish to make a donation via PayPal.

Instructions for the construction of the Catherine Kargas Shelter for cancer patients
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