Commercial Vehicles July 2021

Clean Energy Champion CALSTART Teams Up With Interact Analysis

Alastair Hayfield
Alastair Hayfield

Alastair has over 15 years’ experience leading research activities in scaled, high-growth industrial and technology markets. As Senior Research Director of our Commercial Vehicles Division, he’s responsible for cutting-edge research on electric trucks and buses, autonomous trucks and off-highway electrification.

If you are interested in alternative energy vehicles, you’ll be interested in CALSTART, the US-based organisation which promotes new energy vehicle use. CALSTART has been around since 1992, so the chances are you’ve already heard of them. But what exactly is their mission, and how do they do it?

In this insight, we’ll give you the lowdown on what CALSTART is all about, and discuss why our new partnership with them is important.

CALSTART: An alternative energy advocate supported by some of the US’s biggest vehicle manufacturers

Visit CALSTART’s website and you’ll read:

“CALSTART works with its member companies and agencies to build a high-tech clean energy transportation industry that creates jobs, cuts air pollution and oil imports, and curbs climate change. We work with the public and private sectors to knock down barriers to innovation, and progress and drive the transportation industry to a clean and prosperous future. CALSTART accelerates the pace of technology and is a market building organization”.

So we know what they do. But who exactly is involved?

On June 30th 2021, Bill Van Amburg, Executive Vice President of CALSTART, described the California-based organization as “the nation’s largest and oldest clean transportation technologies industry consortium”. Nearly 300 companies and organisations come under the CALSTART umbrella, and there are some impressive members – established car and commercial vehicle giants such as Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Audi; new energy vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla, Rivian and Arrival; major automotive and truck component makers such as Siemens, Danfoss and Meritor; big fleet operators like UPS, FedEx and DHL; and hundreds of small companies in the US electric vehicle supply chain.

The main thrusts: EV tech development, incentivization, investment and support                     

Where initiatives are concerned, CALSTART’s 4 main areas are:

– Developing and promoting new EV technologies to keep America at the forefront of innovation

– Supporting the development of programs designed to incentivize the adoption of new energy vehicles, such as the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), which CALSTART has administered in conjunction with the California Air resources Board for the past 10 years

– Encouraging investment in America’s clean energy vehicle companies

– And providing member companies with marketing, technology, funding, and networking support, to enable them to develop their full potential

CALSTART and Interact Analysis: a marriage made in a green heaven?

CALSTART is a non-profit organisation spread across the US, with offices in New York, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Colorado; and headquarters in California. The organisation’s primary focus has been national, but its reach is growing at a global level. On 28th May 2021, the organisation issued a press release about the Paris Climate Accord in which it detailed its ‘Drive to Zero’ programme. This initiative recognizes the significant global emissions issuing from commercial vehicles and it identifies specific classes of vehicle ripe for electrification. One example is the delivery van sector which has exploded owing to the boom in e-commerce, particularly during the pandemic. Drive to Zero forecasts commercial viability by 2025 for certain commercial vehicle groups, and full electrification of these segments by 2040.

That’s where Interact Analysis comes in. To inform research projects such as Drive to Zero, CALSTART has used a range of our research reports, including those on hybrid and electric trucks and buses, off-highway vehicles, and powertrain components. The data we provide supports CALSTART’s case as they educate on and promote policies in the US and globally on incentives and rebates for zero-emission vehicles.

It’s extremely important, both for CALSTART and for their membership, that CALSTART has access to regularly updated granular data and informed projections on future market activity, particularly as they expand their activities globally.

Transport is responsible for one third of all global emissions, and at Interact Analysis we believe this has to change. But it’s not about vilifying the current producers of commercial vehicles, it’s about working with them – through organisations such as CALSTART – to give them the tools and information they need to develop clean vehicles that will be appropriate for the rapidly changing markets of the near future.

We intend to take a proactive role as a CALSTART member, so look out for our presence at their events.

To continue the conversation about clean energy policies and solutions for commercial vehicles today get in touch with Alastair Hayfield, senior research director at Interact Analysis:




Posted in: Commercial Vehicles.