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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.]

Berkeley Lab and Hydro-Québec partner on transportation electrification and energy storage

October 23, 2017

Hydro-Québec and the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have agreed to explore collaborations toward the research and development of manufacturing and scale-up technology to advance transportation electrification and energy storage.

The two institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to assess the feasibility of creating a Québec Berkeley (QUBE) joint research center based in the San Francisco Bay Area that will speed up development of next-generation battery materials, processes, and methodologies and conduct manufacturing from pilot scale to pre-production levels. The technologies developed will be transferred to battery manufacturers, leading to job creation in Québec and California.

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Ontario seeking design concepts for hydrogen-powered regional rail trains

September 18, 2017

The Canadian province of Ontario is electrifying its GO rail network to transform how people move around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), and is seeking design concepts for hydrogen-powered trains as an alternative to conventional overhead wires. A division of Metrolinx, GO Transit is the regional public transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Through the GO Regional Express Rail (RER) program, Ontario will deliver faster and more frequent electrified rail service on core segments of the GO rail network and UP Express. As part of planning the electrification, Ontario is undertaking a feasibility study on the use of hydrogen fuel cells.

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Leclanché, eCAMION and SGEM to build and operate network of 34 fast-charging stations along Trans-Canada Highway

July 20, 2017

Leclanché North America, part of Switzerland's Leclanché SA; eCAMION, based in Toronto; and SGEM, based in Geneva; will partner to develop and to install a network of 34 fast-charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH).

The project, designed to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in Canada, entails an investment of C$17.3 million (US$13.6 million) and is being partially funded by a C$8.0-million (US\$6.2 million) repayable contribution from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) under the Canadian Energy Innovation Program. This public private initiative will also be supported by an investment from eCAMION, Leclanché and SGEM.

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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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