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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Shell completes divestment of oil sand interests in Canada; retains Scotford refinery and plants

June 01, 2017

Royal Dutch Shell plc announced the completion of two previously announced agreements by Shell Canada Energy, Shell Canada Limited and Shell Canada Resources (Shell) that will see Shell sell all its in-situ and undeveloped oil sands interests in Canada and reduce its share in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) from 60% to 10%.

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Government of Canada to develop a national Zero-Emissions Vehicle strategy by 2018

May 26, 2017

The Government of Canada is moving forward with provincial and territorial partners, industry and stakeholders, to develop a national strategy to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVS)—battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles—on Canadian roads by 2018.

Transportation accounts for about 24% of Canada’s emissions, mostly from cars and trucks. In 2015, light-duty vehicle emissions accounted for approximately 50% of Canada’s transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, and 12% of the country’s total emissions. ZEVs offer the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly from the light-duty vehicle sector.

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Alberta Innovates & NRCan awarding $26.2M to three oil sands clean tech projects; industry kicking in $43.3M

May 12, 2017

Alberta Innovates has teamed up with Natural Resources (NRCan) and industry partners to take three clean oil sands technologies to commercial demonstration. This announcement is a result of NRCan’s Oil and Gas Clean Tech Program. NRCan is contributing $21 million and Alberta Innovates is investing $5.2 million, for a total of $26.2 million over two years.

The three industry partners, Cenovus Energy, Field Upgrading, and MEG Energy are investing $43.3 million in commercial demonstration in the three projects intended to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of bitumen production and upgrading.

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Ford investing US$375M for R&D in Canada; doubling connectivity team, new research and engineering center

March 30, 2017

Ford is investing an additional C$500-million (US$375 million) in its Canadian research and development presence, adding connectivity software and hardware engineers and establishing a new Ottawa Research and Engineering Center. Ford is adding more than 400 connectivity engineers in Canada and the US—approximately 300 of whom will be based in Canada—more than doubling Ford’s mobile connectivity engineering team.

The new Ottawa Research and Engineering Center in Canada will focus on research and development across infotainment, in-vehicle modems, gateway modules, driver-assist features and autonomous vehicles.

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US State Department issues Presidential Permit to TransCanada for Keystone XL

March 24, 2017

The US Department of State has signed and issued a Presidential Permit to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline. The permit authorizes TransCanada to construct, to connect, to operate, and to maintain pipeline facilities at the US-Canadian border in Phillips County, Montana for the importation of crude oil.

In November 2016, then US Secretary of State John Kerry had rejected the controversial Keystone XL, citing combatting climate change as the critical factor. Kerry noted at that time that the arguments pro and con had been “overstated”. (Earlier post.) In January 2017, two days after newly inaugurated President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum inviting TransCanada to “promptly re-submit its application to the Department of State for a Presidential permit for the construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” the company did so.

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Government of Canada awards $18.2M for aluminum autoparts and better Li-ion battery management

February 17, 2017

The Government of Canada is awarding a total of $18.2 million to two companies that have developed innovations with the potential to make cars lighter, more fuel efficient and, in the case of electric cars, better performing due to a longer battery life.

Astrex Inc. of Lakeshore will receive a repayable contribution of up to $17 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency’s (FedDev Ontario) Advanced Manufacturing Fund. The investment will enable Astrex, a manufacturer of auto parts, to establish a facility that produces lightweight, high-strength aluminum components. The parts manufactured at this plant will reduce fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions.

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U of Waterloo Autonomoose autonomous vehicle on the road in Canada

December 23, 2016

Researchers from the University of Waterloo Center for Automotive Research (WatCAR) in Canada are modifying a Lincoln MKZ Hybrid to autonomous drive-by-wire operation. The research platform, dubbed “Autonomoose” is equipped with a full suite of radar, sonar, lidar, inertial and vision sensors; NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 AI platform (earlier post) to run a complete autonomous driving system, integrating sensor fusion, path planning, and motion control software; and a custom autonomy software stack being developed at Waterloo as part of the research.

Recently, the Autonomoose autonomously drove a crew of Ontario Ministry of Transportation officials to the podium of a launch event to introduce the first car approved to hit the roads under the province’s automated vehicle pilot program.

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Canada invests $1.9M to support Nano One advanced battery production technology

December 08, 2016

The Government of Canada is investing up to $1.9 million from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) in Vancouver-based Nano One to support the development of advanced battery technology for electric vehicles. Nano One produces low-cost high-performance energy storage materials for batteries as well as a wide range of advanced nanostructured composite materials. The new technology will reduce the cost of the energy storage materials in electric vehicle batteries, resulting in batteries that are longer lasting, easier to charge and able to produce more energy.

The funding, made available through the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program (ASIP), will support the development and production of electric vehicle battery material in Nano One’s pilot plant. The facility will simulate full-scale production of lithium-ion cathode materials and showcase Nano One’s patented processing technology.

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Government of Canada to work with provinces, territories, and stakeholders to develop a clean fuel standard

November 26, 2016

The Government of Canada will consult with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, industries, and non-governmental organizations to develop a clean fuel standard. The standard would require reductions in the carbon footprint of the fuels supplied in Canada, based on lifecycle analysis. The overall objective of a clean fuel standard would be to achieve annual reductions of 30 megatonnes (Mt) of GHG emissions by 2030.

The approach would not differentiate between crude-oil types produced in or imported into Canada. These consultations would inform the development of a regulatory approach under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

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Québec moves forward with a zero-emission vehicle standard

October 29, 2016

Earlier this week, the Québec National Assembly unanimously adopted Bill 104, a zero-emission vehicle standard. Automakers that sell or lease a yearly average of more than 4,500 new vehicles (all light models combined) will be subject to the ZEV standard.

In its 2015-2020 Transportation Electrification Action Plan, Québec set a target of 100,000 registered plug-in vehicles by 2020. The bill gives the Government of Québec the powers it needs to require car manufacturers to sell a minimum of zero-emission vehicles through a tradable credit system.

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Government of Canada announces national plan for carbon pricing

October 04, 2016

The Government of Canada has proposed a pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon emissions; under the new plan, all Canadian jurisdictions will have carbon pricing in place by 2018.

To accomplish this, Canada will set a benchmark for pricing carbon emissions—set at a level that will help Canada meet its greenhouse gas emission targets. Provinces and territories will have flexibility in deciding how they implement carbon pricing. Jurisdictions can implement: (i) an explicit price-based system (a carbon tax such as British Columbia’s or a carbon levy and performance-based emissions system like in Alberta); or (ii) a cap-and-trade system (e.g. Ontario and Quebec).

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BC government unveils climate plan

August 23, 2016

The government of British Columbia recently unveiled its Climate Leadership Plan, targeting the reduction of net annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 million tonnes below current forecasts by 2050 and the creation of up to 66,000 jobs over the next ten years. BC’s target is to reduce 2050 emissions 80% below 2007 levels.

The plan’s initial 21 action items include making electric vehicles more affordable and boosting the Low Carbon Fuel Standard from 10% to 15%. Government is also targeting making buildings more efficient, sequestration opportunities in forests and emission reductions in natural gas production and processing.

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Governments of Canada & Québec award $76.5M to AE Côte-Nord Canada Bioenergy for renewable fuel oil from forest residues w/ Ensyn RTP

July 14, 2016

The Governments of Canada and Québec will provide $76.5 million in funding to AE Côte-Nord Canada Bioenergy Inc. for the production of renewable fuel oil (RFO) from forest residues. The plant, which will use Ensyn’s RTP (rapid thermal processing) (earlier post), will be the first commercial RTP facility designed and optimized for the production of biocrude used for heating, cooling and refinery applications, according to Dr. Robert Graham, Chairman, Ensyn Corporation.

The Port-Cartier plant will also be the first commercial-scale facility of this kind in Québec. The goal of the project is to convert forest residues into 40 million liters (10.6 million gallons US) of renewable fuel oil per year. When upgraded into transportation fuels, this will remove up to 70,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions per year. Production of renewable fuel oil is set to begin in 2017.

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Canada publishes proposed regulations for criteria pollutants from locomotives

June 18, 2016

The Government of Canada has published proposed Locomotive Emissions Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I. This marks Canada’s first regulation of air pollutant emissions from locomotives. The proposed regulations will criteria air contaminants (CACs), from locomotives operated by railway companies under federal jurisdiction through increasingly stringent emission standards and reduced idling. CACs include NOx; particulate matter (PM); hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO); and sulfur oxides (SOx).

The emission standards set out in these proposed regulations will also align with those of the United States. Canada and the US are also working together on approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from locomotives under the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council.

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