Policy briefing tackles Ontario’s shift to low-carbon fleets

TORONTO – The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has released a policy briefing, “Transitioning to Low-Carbon Fleets in Ontario,” that explores the technologies, policies, and investments needed for low-carbon commercial fleets across the province.

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario, the OCC said. While there is a growing shift toward electric and hybrid passenger vehicles, businesses face unique challenges when it comes to transitioning their medium- and heavy-duty fleets.

“As emissions from freight transportation continue to climb, government and industry are partnering to decarbonize the sector – both by accelerating the decarbonization of large-scale fleets and investing in alternative modes of transportation like rail,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Ontario businesses want to be part of the solution. Our recommendations offer a roadmap for Ontario to support the transition to low-carbon commercial fleets, recognizing the necessity from both an environmental perspective and to attract business investments into the province.”

The primer highlights four critical policy areas:

  • Investments in Clean Energy Supply: It is critical that Ontario continue to attract investments in cost-effective, clean energy resources, including nuclear, hydroelectric, hydrogen, and biofuels like renewable natural gas, to help facilitate the transition to low-carbon transportation at scale.
  • Expansion of Charging and Refuelling Infrastructure: Given existing infrastructural gaps, it is necessary to enhance the network of charging and refuelling stations, particularly along key transport corridors.
  • Advancements in Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Technologies: It is imperative to foster innovative technology solutions for medium and heavy-duty vehicles, including electric, hydrogen and clean fuel alternatives.
  • Purchase Incentives: Incentive programs for low-carbon commercial fleets can be a powerful means to overcome the cost barrier and also attract more investment in the vehicles, infrastructure and supply chains.

The OCC would like to thank its Presenting Partners for their support of this project: Bruce Power and Purolator acted as presenting partners for the policy briefing.

“Bruce Power is working to be a Net Zero company by 2027,” said Mike Rencheck, president and CEO of Bruce Power. “Clean energy is critical to supporting the transition to low-carbon transportation. Our commitment to nuclear energy, a clean, reliable and zero-emission power source, is pivotal in empowering businesses, including those in the transportation sector, to achieve their sustainability goals.”

Public and private collaboration is needed for organizations to meet their emissions reduction goals, the OCC said. This brief is a call for businesses, policymakers, and society at large, highlighting the collaborative effort needed to drive change.

“Purolator is acutely aware of the impact our operations have on the environment,” said John Ferguson, president and CEO, Purolator. “It’s our ambition to be Canada’s greenest courier, and transitioning to a low-carbon fleet is a significant step towards meeting our sustainability commitments, including electrifying 60 percent of our last-mile delivery vehicles by 2030.”