A Victoria company, Geazone Eco-Courier, is building its fleet of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) with the help of rebates through the CleanBC Go Electric Hydrogen Fleet program.
Geazone Eco-Courier is a BC-based zero emissions courier company that provides sustainable delivery services, third party logistics and freight services to businesses across Vancouver Island and Vancouver. Their 40 new Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are powered by hydrogen — and their only tailpipe emission is water.
“In places where the fueling infrastructure exists – as it does in BC – hydrogen-powered FCEVs really are the perfect zero-emission solution for organizations with fleets of high-use vehicles,” said Stephen Beatty, Vice President, Corporate at Toyota Canada Inc. “We commend Geazone for taking this bold and innovative step for their business, and we hope their fleet of Toyota Mirai will help demonstrate the value of FCEVs to other fleet owners looking to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Earlier this year, Toyota announced it was partnering with ride-share leader Lyft to make available a similar fleet of zero-emission FCEVs for ride-share drivers in the Vancouver area.
Geazone’s launch of its hydrogen-powered courier fleet is partly a result of changes in the economy brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’d already been operating as an eco-courier with battery electric vehicles, but when COVID arrived, we had to make some changes,” Mitchell says. “A lot of our business-to-business client base dried up. We pivoted to a business-to-consumer model for final mile delivery by courier.”
“At the same time, we were also looking at adapting our fleet to hydrogen. When I saw the Toyota Mirai, I was excited. I took one for a test drive and a few days later, came back and told them I wanted 40 of them, right then and there. A few weeks later, we added the first batch of FCEVs to our fleet.”
Geazone plans on expanding their hydrogen-powered fleet in the coming months.
Hydrogen BC, the association championing British Columbia’s hydrogen industry, sees today’s announcement a strong indicator of hydrogen’s growing momentum in the province.
“With four active hydrogen fuelling stations, and several more planned, British Columbia is certainly in the right place to launch a courier fleet of hydrogen-powered vehicles,” said Colin Armstrong, Chair of Hydrogen BC. “The foresight of the BC government combined with the innovative work of local companies means we have the necessary hydrogen fuelling infrastructure for a seamless fleet service operation. We’re excited to be home to North America’s first hydrogen-powered courier fleet, and we congratulate Geazone on this exciting venture.”
The launch is timely, in light of a recent announcement by the government of British Columbia regarding its CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 plan to help B.C. achieve its 2030 emissions reduction targets and reach net-zero by 2050.
Geazone received rebates from the Province’s CleanBC Go Electric Hydrogen Fleet program, which offers fleet operators $8,000 to a maximum of 35% of selling price for the purchase of an FCEV to help B.C. businesses reduce emissions.
“We want to encourage more B.C. companies to make the switch to clean energy in their day-to-day business,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Geazone Eco-Courier is a great example of a local company that is working to adopt cleaner vehicles which not only aligns with our hydrogen strategy and CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, but helps other businesses and communities reach their own climate change targets by ensuring their couriers are behind the wheel of zero-emissions vehicles.”
The federal government also recently released its Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, setting an ambitious framework to make Canada a global hydrogen leader.
“We want to encourage more B.C. companies to make the switch to clean energy in their day-to-day business,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Geazone Eco-Courier is a great example of a local company that is working to adopt cleaner vehicles, which not only aligns with our hydrogen strategy and CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, but also helps other businesses and communities reach their own climate-change targets by ensuring couriers are behind the wheel of zero-emission vehicles.”
With $72,000 in rebates from the CleanBC Go Electric Hydrogen Fleet program, Geazone Eco-Courier has purchased nine Toyota Mirai FCEVs to expand its fleet to 20 Mirai, and plans to continue expanding this fleet in the coming months. The zero-emissions courier company provides sustainable delivery services, third-party logistics and freight services to businesses on Vancouver Island and in Greater Vancouver, with a fleet made of human-powered tricycles, FCEVs and fully electric five-tonne trucks. By offering customers a zero-emissions courier, Geazone Eco-Courier is helping other businesses reduce their carbon emissions.
“Geazone Eco-Courier is a zero-emission final-mile courier throughout Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. These rebates will help us continue to invest in more infrastructure and have allowed us to become North America’s first hydrogen-powered courier fleet,” said Andrew Mitchell, president and CEO, Geazone Eco-Courier. “B.C. is clearly investing in the future of green energy and we’re literally helping move that forward.”
In partnership with the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, the Province’s CleanBC Go Electric Hydrogen Fleet program offers eligible fleet operators $8,000 to a maximum of 35% of selling price for the purchase of a fuel-cell electric vehicle to help businesses reduce emissions. The program, launched in 2019, aims to kickstart the light-duty FCEV market in B.C. and is available to local businesses building out commercial fleets.
“In places where the fuelling infrastructure exists – as it does in B.C. – hydrogen-powered FCEVs really are the perfect zero-emission solution for organizations with fleets of high-use vehicles,” said Stephen Beatty, vice-president, corporate, Toyota Canada Inc. “We commend Geazone for taking this bold and innovative step for their business, and we hope their fleet of Toyota Mirai will help demonstrate the value of FCEVs to other fleet owners looking to reduce their carbon footprint.”
To support the adoption of FCEVs, B.C. has the first cluster of public hydrogen-fuelling stations in Canada, and the Province is working to expand the hydrogen-fuelling network. The Province announced a $10-million commitment in September 2020 to build an additional 10 hydrogen-fuelling stations in B.C. and promote and accelerate the use of hydrogen technologies in B.C.
B.C. is the first province in Canada to release a comprehensive hydrogen strategy. The B.C. Hydrogen Strategy provides a roadmap for how the province can be a world leader in the production, use and export of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen. Shifting away from fossil fuels is crucial for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Hydrogen is a key practical solution to decrease emissions in hard-to-decarbonize sectors, like medium- and heavy-duty transportation.
The CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 is B.C.’s plan to expand and accelerate climate action building on the province’s natural advantages – abundant, clean electricity, high-value natural resources and a highly skilled workforce. It sets a path for increased collaboration to build a British Columbia that works for everyone.
- The CleanBC Go Electric Hydrogen Fleet program is administered by the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA).
- The CHFCA is a national, non-profit sector association comprising industry, academia, research agencies and other stakeholders focused on advancing the use of clean hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies and products to help tackle our world’s most critical energy challenges.
- There are four public hydrogen-fuelling stations operating in the province in Saanich, Vancouver, Burnaby and North Vancouver. Another two stations are under development in Kelowna and Burnaby and are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
- Part of CleanBC, the B.C. Hydrogen Strategy includes 63 actions for government, industry and innovators to undertake during the short term (2020-25), medium term (2025-30) and long term (2030 and beyond).
About Geazone Eco-courier
Geazone Eco-Courier is a BC-based zero emissions courier company that provides sustainable delivery services, third party logistics, and freight services to businesses across Vancouver Island and Vancouver. What truly sets Geazone apart from any other courier service is our distinct ability to operate through our entirely emissions-free fleet, which includes human-powered tricycles, cars, and fully electric 5-tonne trucks. Learn more at http://geazone.ca/