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Request for Information - Infrastructure for Sustainable Transportation Systems RD&D

Status: Closed March 12, 2023

Nature of Request for Information

Decarbonizing the transportation sector is crucial to meeting Canada's plan to be net-zero by 2050, as transportation accounts for 25% of Canada's greenhouse emissions. In support of this goal, the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan targets 20% of new light-duty cars and passenger truck sales to be zero-emission by 2026, 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. The Plan also targets 35% of total medium and heavy-duty vehicle (MHDV) sales to be zero-emission by 2030, with 100% of MHDV sales to be zero-emission by 2040 for a subset of vehicle types based on feasibility. Further, Canada’s Action Plan for Clean On-Road Transportation discusses the need to improve electric vehicle infrastructure capabilities, but also recognizes that the transition to zero-emission vehicles needs to be considered as part of a broader energy system transition. This transition must also include mode-switching to public transit, active transit, and micro-mobility, as well as innovations in urban planning and design. This supports the National Active Transportation Strategy which targets safe and convenient access to active transportation infrastructure for all communities.

This Request for Information (RFI) sought written feedback from stakeholders to help NRCan better understand the current challenges and opportunities Canadians face in decarbonizing the transportation sector, with particular interest in infrastructure innovation to enable sustainable transportation systems. Responses may help shape the scope of future transportation-related funding opportunities and be shared with other federal departments.

Information Sought

This RFI sought to understand the existing research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) opportunities that can enable the wide-scale deployment of infrastructure for sustainable transportation systems. The questions have been organized around the following topics:

  • EV Infrastructure in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
  • Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles Infrastructure
  • Transportation System Efficiency and Sustainability
  • Rural, Remote, and Northern Communities

Respondents were encouraged to use verifiable empirical evidence or validated studies wherever possible to support claims and analysis.

Note that we are particularly interested in barriers that can be effectively addressed through research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities.


Note this is solely a request for information and does not represent formal consultation for a current or future funding opportunity. NRCan is not obligated to respond directly or indirectly to any of the issues submitted under an RFI.

NRCan will not reimburse any respondent for expenses incurred in responding. Respondents will have no claim for damages, compensation, loss of profit, or allowance arising out of providing comments in response to the RFI.

Please do not include any information you consider proprietary or confidential. NRCan will handle the responses in accordance with the Access to Information Act.

Responses may be shared with other departments within the Government of Canada.

NRCan may, in its discretion, contact any respondents to follow up with additional questions or for clarification of any aspect of a response.

Appendix of Definitions and Technology Readiness Levels


Demonstration: Includes the installation of pre-commercial technology; modification of existing processes, equipment, or systems to accommodate an innovative technology or process; the installation of equipment and/or infrastructure to support a demonstration or multiple demonstrations; or associated costs for the engineering, design, and permitting of a permanent installation as identified in the points above, including elements of a Front-End Engineering Design study if required as part of a demonstration; or operation, performance testing, and analysis of pre-commercial equipment in its intended environment to assess performance of an innovation. For the purposes of this RFI, demonstration refers to technology readiness levels 6 through 8 (see Appendix B).

Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles: Heavy-duty vehicle weight classes 2B to 8 as defined in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999, the Act) and the Regulations.

Micro-Mobility: Transportation services targeting short trips or the first and last mile of longer trips with small, personal means of transport such as bikes and scooters (including electric versions of each).

Northern Communities: Communities located north of the limit of isolated permafrost – approximately 50° latitude.

Remote Communities: Communities not currently connected to the North American electrical grid or the piped rural gas network and is a permanent or long-term (5 years or more) settlement with at least 10 dwellings.

Research and Development (R&D): Includes development, assessment, testing and integration of novel and innovative equipment, software, and methodologies; pre-demonstration field trials; or assessment or characterization studies, including data compilations and syntheses, where there is a significant transportation sector-related knowledge gap. For the purposes of this RFI, R&D refers to technology readiness levels 3 through 5 (see Appendix B).

Rural Communities: Communities with a population of less than 5,000 people and a population density of less than 400 persons per square kilometre and not connected to the North American piped natural gas network.

Sustainable Modes of Transportation: Modes of transportation such as active transit, micro-mobility, and public transit which encourage energy efficiency, space-use efficiency, and have low lifecycle emissions. A sustainable transportation system is one in which all forms of transport are accessible, safe, and ubiquitous.

Technology Readiness Levels

Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a measure used to assess the maturity of evolving technologies (devices, materials, components, software, work processes, etc.) during its development and in some cases during early operations. Generally speaking, when a new technology is first invented or conceptualized, it is not suitable for immediate application. Instead, new technologies are usually subjected to experimentation, refinement, and increasingly realistic testing. Once the technology is sufficiently proven, it can be incorporated into a system/subsystem.

TRL Short Definition Description Examples of Activities
1 Basic principles observed and reported. Lowest level of technology readiness. Scientific research begins to be translated into applied research and development (R&D). Activities might include paper studies of a technology's basic properties.
2 Technology concept and/or application formulated. Invention begins. Once basic principles are observed, practical applications can be invented. Applications are speculative, and there may be no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumptions. Activities are limited to analytic studies.
3 Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept. Active R&D is initiated. This includes analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically validate the analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology. Activities include components that are not yet integrated or representative.
4 Component(s)/subsystem(s) and/or process validation in a laboratory environment. Basic technological components are integrated to establish that they will work together. Activities include integration of "ad hoc" hardware in the laboratory.
5 Semi-integrated component(s)/subsystem(s) and/or process validation in a simulated environment. The basic technological components are integrated for testing in a simulated environment. Activities include laboratory integration of components.
6 System and/or process prototype demonstration in a simulated environment. A model or prototype that represents a near desired configuration. Activities include testing a model or prototype in a simulated or laboratory environment.
7 Prototype system ready (form, fit, and function) for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment. Prototype is ready for demonstration in an operational environment and is at planned operational level. Activities include prototype field testing in a real-world operational setting.
8 Actual technology completed and qualified through tests and demonstrations. Technology has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions. Activities include developmental testing and evaluation of whether it will meet operational requirements.
9 Actual technology proven through successful deployment in an operational setting. Actual application of the technology in its final form and under real-life conditions, such as those encountered in operational tests and evaluations. Activities include using the innovation under operational conditions.


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