Transportation is at the centre of the pollution puzzle in most Canadian provinces. In Ontario, the transportation sector consumes 38 per cent of the province’s entire fuel and energy sector. According to the federal government’s statistics, gasoline and diesel dominate, representing nearly 85 per cent of total transportation fuels used in 2015.
As gasoline prices rise across the country and carbon pricing takes effect, a further increase in the cost of fossil fuels is expected for Canadian households. There is an immediate need to move away from fossil fuel dependency and create credible alternatives that can eliminate emissions while offering consumers cheaper long-term transportation options.
Alberta, British Columbia, and the federal government have already released hydrogen strategies already – armed with significant funding and transit project deployment goals. It is time for Ontario to catch up and take on a leadership role by creating a robust hydrogen strategy with clear transit-oriented demonstration projects to support it.
The Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) is calling on the Government of Ontario to support a hydrogen strategy and invest in related infrastructure.
Low-carbon hydrogen in Ontario can help, but only if deployed in public transit agencies as a priority.
“With a healthy industry ecosystem, capabilities to produce green hydrogen, and the densest transit system in the country, Ontario can create significant economic and environmental impact in the shift to green hydrogen,” says Dr. Josipa Petrunić, president and CEO of CUTRIC. “The province must now invest in the industry through transit demonstration projects to secure economic and environmental benefits for all Ontarians and to mobilize our immediate and necessary transition away from gasoline.”
CUTRIC is in the process of conducting the Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Bus (FCEB) Demonstration And Integration Trial.
- Transportation accounts for approximately 25 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- Transit accounts for approximately 70 per cent of Mississauga’s GHG emissions
- The City of Mississauga’s CCAP aims to reduce GHG emissions by 80 per cent by 2050
- Approximately 475 diesel buses at MiWay will need to be replaced with zero emissions buses
Phase 1 of the trial involved technical planning and consultation sessions between CUTRIC’s transit, industry, and academic members. In April 2021, Phase 1 culminated in the launch of a feasibility study of fleet electrification using FCEBs at Mississauga Transit (MiWay).
Phase 2 of the trial involves putting FCEBs into service on Canadian roads. As part of the second and subsequent phases of the trial, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), FCEB assembly companies, and low-emissions hydrogen suppliers from Canada are working with interested transit agencies and academic researchers to achieve the following:
Featured images credit: CUTRIC.