January 3, 2020
The world market is increasingly interested in clean, renewable and environmental transportation solutions, and British Columbia is working to meet global demands. Through the CleanBC climate action plan, Canada’s Western-most province is spurring innovation, stimulating economic growth and creating new investment opportunities. This is especially true for investors looking to hold environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investments.
One sector where ESG opportunities are burgeoning in B.C. is green transportation. British Columbia has an abundance of affordable power, with over 98% of its electricity generated from clean or renewable sources. This steady, low cost energy supply is making it easier to embrace electric vehicles (EVs).
The first EVs arrived in British Columbia 10 years ago and by 2018 they accounted for 4% of light-duty vehicle sales in the province. That number more than doubled in 2019 to 9%, the highest EV sales per capita in North America. Rebates incentivize infrastructure growth; examples of this include the installation of high-speed charging stations and CleanBC’s new EV automotive training program which will help ensure the longevity of zero-emission vehicles.
The sector offers more than just growth potential for investors – it’s also a strong recruitment incentive with a lot of consumer appeal. The 30,000 EVs already on the roads in British Columbia are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 million tonnes over their lifetime. In an era of conscientious consumerism, that’s something people can buy into.
Green transportation also impacts business travel and makes it easier for companies to operate as carbon neutral without sacrificing face-time with clients. In B.C.’s aviation industry, the world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft took flight on December 10, 2019. Although it may be some time before large commercial passenger planes can be converted to electric power for long flights, new and innovative aviation partnerships are emerging in B.C.
BioPortYVR is a new project aimed at reducing emissions at the Vancouver International Airport and other airports in the region by blending biofuel into conventional jet fuel. Partners in the project include the Green Aviation Research and Development Network, the Waterfall Group and SkyNRG – a consortium of companies that source and market aviation biofuels. These steps are reducing the carbon footprint of business travel and alleviating some of the concerns where frequent flying is part of the job.
The B.C. transportation sector is making an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through governance measures and innovation. Companies are making advances in carbon reduction technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells and improved batteries, motors and chargers. Low-carbon policies are driving growth in the sector, with initiatives that include the Go Electric Incentive Program, the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation.
Learn more about transportation in B.C.
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