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Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative — Medium- and heavy-duty stream

Status: This Call for Proposals focusing on zero-emission and low-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is now closed and proposals are being reviewed.

The Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI) is looking to fund new and innovative projects that aim to increase knowledge, awareness, and confidence in medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission or low-emission vehicles among fleet owners, drivers and the general public.

This can include battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and renewable natural gas-powered vehicles, engine repowers and conversions, as well as fuel-efficient retrofits, fleet assessments and smart logistics. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) are those that weigh more than 8,500 lbs, including large pickup trucks, delivery vans, refuse trucks, buses, and long-haul freight trucks (Classes 2B to 8). This call for proposals will support—via cost-shared contribution agreements—outreach, education, and capacity-building activities, enabling greater adoption of ZEVs and lower-carbon vehicles in the MHDV sector in all regions of the country.

We recognize the unique opportunities that zero-emission vehicle awareness can present for Indigenous businesses and communities and encourage Indigenous participation on all projects. Natural Resources Canada wants to ensure that our current and future processes include measures to enable and encourage greater Indigenous participation.

There will be an additional, separate funding stream for Indigenous-led awareness projects. Please email to inquire about that funding opportunity.

The term “Indigenous” is understood to include Inuit, Métis, First Nation or any combination thereof.

Successful Applicants

Once the Call for Proposals has closed, information on successful projects will be available upon signing of contribution agreements.

Explore past successful projects

Explore the Types of Eligible Projects

NRCan will provide funding for new and innovative awareness and education activities that are to take place in Canada and that will facilitate the uptake of zero-emission or low-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, alternative fuel, or retrofits and repowers for internal combustion engines.

Proposed projects could include, 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 zero-emission or low-emission vehicles and showcasing them through test-drive and trial programs, mobile showcases, ambassador or mentorship programs, including in underserved areas
  • Undertaking actions to increase knowledge and visibility of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and alternative fuel technologies (e.g., hydrogen fuelling technology)
  • Increasing knowledge of zero-emission or low-emission fleet options and technologies among end users such as commercial or municipal fleets
  • Developing curriculum, training material, or best practice guides and educational tools to support the uptake of zero-emission or low-emission MHDVs throughout Canada
  • Developing resources to assist fleets in decision-making to support the transition to lower-carbon and zero-emission vehicles
  • Creating educational material for fleets on the emissions reduction potential and savings from engine conversions, repowers or fuel-efficient retrofits
  • Educating fleet owners on methods for fleet assessments and the use of smart logistics to reduce emissions

Please note, NRCan will not fund advertising or marketing campaigns (e.g., endorsements of single products or services) designed to generate sales revenue for the applicant or project partners. Under this CFP, NRCan will not fund repeat or extended projects (same deliverables, audience, location) that were previously undertaken by the organization. Annual events held by organizations are not eligible for NRCan funding.

Why Is This Important?

Freight transportation accounts for 10% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of reducing emissions from on-road freight, while increasing the competitiveness of the transportation sector. Reducing transportation emissions is critical to achieving the Government’s ambitious climate change commitments and is consistent with the global shift toward zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs).

The decarbonization of freight carrying trucks and other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) is critical to these efforts. With an estimated 130,000 sales annually, replacing the 2.6 million MHDVs currently in operation with zero-emission alternatives will take time, as many of these vehicles remain on the road for 15 years or longer. Canada must take steps to decarbonize the fleets of today, while priming the market for electrification.

In 2022, the Government of Canada issued a plan for reducing emissions: 2030 Emissions Reductions Plan – Canada’s Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy. In it, the Government reinforced its commitment to fight climate change, create jobs, and ensure that Canadians are global leaders in the transition to clean industries and technologies. The plan is an ambitious and achievable sector-by-sector approach through which the Government aims to reach its new climate target of cutting emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, putting us on track toward our goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

To accelerate the path to net-zero, the Government of Canada will develop an MHDV regulation to require that 100% of MHDV sales be ZEVs by 2040 in select vehicles categories and based on feasibility. However, zero-emission technologies for MHDVs are less commercially ready than those for light-duty vehicles, and significant barriers remain to their widespread adoption, including low awareness and confidence among businesses and fleet operators, the vast majority (99%) of which are small companies facing tight margins.

While ZEV alternatives are becoming more widely available for many urban applications (e.g., buses, return-to-base delivery vehicles), additional challenges must be overcome for long-haul freight (e.g., technology readiness and inadequate charging/refuelling infrastructure). Addressing gaps in knowledge and experience with zero-emission and lower-carbon technologies is critical to supporting Canadian fleets in the transition to net-zero and meeting the Government’s goals under theEmissions Reduction Plan to reduce emissions in the sector.

Additional Information About the Initiative

  • How much support could my organization receive from the Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative?

    This funding will be delivered through cost-shared, non-repayable contributions for eligible projects via contribution agreements with successful applicants.

    Financial support for projects is based on the total amount of funds available for ZEVAI.

    NRCan will fund up to 50% of project costs for for-profit organizations and up to 75% of project costs for non-profit organizations, other orders of government, and Indigenous organizations or businesses.

  • Can support be stacked with other financial incentives?

    It is possible for other sources of funding—for example, a provincial incentive—to contribute to total project costs. Total funding from all levels of government (e.g., federal, provincial/territorial and/or municipal) cannot exceed 75% of the total project costs if the applicant is a for-profit organization. Total funding from all levels of government cannot exceed 100% if an applicant is a not-for-profit organization, an order of government, or an Indigenous organization or business.

  • Can projects commence prior to signing a contribution agreement with NRCan?

    Successful applicants can start their projects upon receipt of the Letter of Conditional Approval from NRCan. However, expenses incurred prior to the signing of a contribution agreement by Canada are incurred at the Proponent’s own risk. While such expenses may be counted towards total project costs, they are not eligible for NRCan reimbursement.

  • Service standards

    Our goal is to achieve our service standards a minimum of 80% of the time under normal circumstances:

    • responding to general inquiries made to our email address within 5 business days
    • reviewing the completeness of your application and replying within 3 business days
    • assessing your application and sending you an approval or a rejection notification letter within 100 days of the call for proposal deadline
    • sending a draft contribution agreement for review within 30 business days of issuing the Letter of Conditional Approval (if applicable)
    • reviewing payment claims within 15 business days
    • sending a payment within 30 business days of receipt of a duly completed and documented payment claim

Contact us

Any questions or inquiries regarding the ZEVAI must be sent by email to:

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