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Canada Post debuts electric delivery vans

IMAGE: Canada Post executives in front of one of its new EVs.
From left to right: Canada Post's Suromitra Sanatani, chair of the board of directors; Doug Ettinger, president and CEO; and Sally Dam, director of urban delivery strategy. (Courtesy Pinpoint National Photography/Canada Post)

Canada Post recently unveiled 14 electric delivery vans at its Nanaimo, B.C. depot.

As part of Canada Post's plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the company has committed to electrifying half of its national fleet of approximately 14,000 vehicles by 2030 and the entire fleet by 2040.

"Our transformation plan invests billions of dollars into service, capacity and greening our operations – because we need to deliver for Canadians, whether that's shipping parcels or helping to build a more sustainable future, "Doug Ettinger, Canada Post’s president and CEO said in a statement.

"When you look at the size of our network, this depot may be a small first step, but it's an important one as we start to build momentum."

In May 2022, Canada Post committed $1 billion to its net-zero plan.

That involves a 50 per cent reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, measured against 2019 levels.

The target is built to meet requirements of the Science Based Targets initiative, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. Included is a goal to reach 100 per cent renewable electricity for Canada Post facilities by 2030. Currently, 84 per cent of its purchased electricity is from renewable sources.

The emissions reduction targets extend to Canada Post’s vendors as well. It includes 67 per cent of vendors by spending total and 100 per cent of its subsidiaries adopting a science-based target by 2025.

The Albert Jackson Processing Centre, its parcel sorting facility in Scarborough, Ont., will operate as net-zero later this year and have the capacity to process more than one million packages per day.

Finalta commits $50 million to the EV sector

Montreal-based Finalta Capital has announced $50 million in funding to the electric and smart transportation (EST) ecosystem.

Finalta is one of Canada's largest funds specialized in non-dilutive tax credit and government grant financing. Typically, it provides financing from $500,000 to $15 million relative to the size of the projects.

The funding came about as a result of outreach from Propulsion Québec, the province's electric and intelligent transportation cluster that now has over 270 members from various sectors.

"With this announcement of $50 million dedicated to the electric and smart transportation sector, Finalta Capital is addressing the much needed requirements for financing. I commend Finalta Capital's commitment to our ecosystem and their initiative in providing an enhanced financing solution, adapted to the EST sector, so that Quebec can maintain its lead in a competitive industry on a global scale," Sarah Houde, Propulsion Québec's president and CEO said in a statement.

The non-dilutive nature of this financing will allow EST companies and their founders "to reap a larger share of the fruits of their labor," she added.

Electra produces lithium from battery trial

Electra Battery Materials Corporation has successfully recovered lithium from its black mass recycling project at its refinery north of Toronto.

“Recovering lithium from black mass represents a potential game changer for Electra and the North American EV supply chain,” Trent Mell, CEO of Electra (ELBM-X) said in a statement.

“Recycling lithium from expired batteries through hydrometallurgy lowers the carbon footprint of manufacturing electric vehicles and represents an important source of future supply for a commodity whose demand is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. From Electra’s perspective, it considerably strengthens the economics of our battery recycling strategy by providing another high-value product we can sell.”

Electra is currently commissioning North America’s only cobalt sulfate refinery.

“We will be basically 50 per cent less carbon-emitting relative to similar size refineries that would be done in China,” Joe Racanelli, Electra’s vice-president of investor relations told SustainableBiz in September. “From an end-user perspective, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in the space are obviously looking to improve ESG commitments.”

Electra launched its black mass demonstration plant at the end of December 2022, and has processed material in a batch mode, successfully extracting lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, copper and graphite.

The company had previously decided to extend its black mass processing and recovery activities through June 2023, beyond its initial target of 75 tonnes. The total amount of material to be processed and recovered through June will be determined in the coming weeks.

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