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EV/AV Report: March 15, 2021

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— This week, Quebec-based battery recycler Lithion joins forces with an OEM, Saskatoon inches closer to electrifying its city fleet and Canadian Tire unveils endeavours in the world of autonomous trucks.

Hyundai battery boost

Hyundai Canada and Quebec-based battery recycler  Lithion Recycling have announced a service agreement to increase the OEM’s sustainable production cycle through a recovery and recycle program for EV batteries.

Headquartered in Montreal, Lithion claims its process is able to recover up to 95 percent of spent battery materials, which can then be used in new batteries. Industry estimates peg that by 2040 over two million lithium-ion batteries will need to be recycled in the United States alone.

“The most important vision we have is 100 percent electric by 2040. One thing that is clear is that we need a recycling program,” said Don Romano, president and CEO of Hyundai Canada, in an interview with Electric Autonomy Canada. “It’s not a matter of if, but when. Eventually, every vehicle on the road will be electric and in another 10 years we are going to need a lot of recycling.”

For more information on Lithion and its battery recycling endeavours, visit lithionrecycling.com.

Sustainability in Saskatoon

The City of Saskatoon is leasing four Chevy Bolts to study the savings and benefits of going electric in their fleet vehicles. The Bolts will be used by Saskatoon Light & Power and facilities management workers. Saskatoon’s municipal fleet consists of roughly 470 vehicles, which the city has pledged to transition entirely to electric by 2030–part of a larger initiative to lower the province’s overall emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

“Electric vehicles are new, but with changes to our climate and legislation, they are expected to become the new normal,” roadways and fleet director Goran Saric said in a press release about the pilot.

“By piloting these vehicles now, we can properly prepare for the infrastructure they require, as well as benefit from their lower greenhouse gas emissions, lower maintenance costs and cleaner energy source.”

The project touts a price tag of $200,000, which includes leasing the vehicles and installing charging infrastructure to support them. The city is keen to see how the vehicles and the chargers perform in all of Saskatoon’s seasons.

Canadian Tire tech

Canadian Tire has committed a one million dollars to what it calls Canada’s first autonomous trucking program. 

The investment is being matched by the province of Ontario’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network and Toronto-based autonomous trucking startup NuPort Robotics. 

The company has retrofit two Canadian Tire tractors with sensors and controls that allow it to transport goods autonomously between a Canadian Tire distribution center and nearby rail terminals. A driver will be in the trucks at all times, said the company.

“The trucks are currently transporting goods between a Canadian Tire distribution center in the Greater Toronto Area and nearby rail terminals within a 20-kilometer radius, and early results are promising,” said Raghavender Sahdev, CEO of NuPort Robotics. 

“The aim of the project is to develop a system that incorporates an autopilot feature for conventional trucks with a driver, leading to the most efficient way to drive and increase safety. The sensors work as a ‘safety cocoon’ to cover blind spots and prevent accidents and the end result is peak fuel efficiency, meaning lower carbon emissions, and peak driving performance for an overall more optimal transportation experience.”

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