Thursday July 28, 2022 | VANCOUVER, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB), today has announced a partnership with Seven Generation Capital (7Gen).
Vancity describes Vancity Community Investment Bank as “Canada’s only values-driven bank and a subsidiary of Vancity Credit Union”.
7Gen is described as “the first company in Canada that supports fleet operators in deploying electric medium and heavy duty fleets with an electric vehicle and charger leasing model”.
Loan for leasing to GoBolt:
A $3.2-million loan from VCIB to 7Gen to support the purchase and lease of 10 EV trucks and the required EV fast chargers to accelerate the delivery of EV fleets in Canada, will pave the way for 7Gen to lease the equipment to GoBolt, a tech-enabled provider of sustainable fulfillment and last mile logistics for retailers and ecommerce brands.
This EV fleet is estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 4,140 tonnes over the trucks’ seven-year lease period. This accounts for an annual reduction of 491 tonnes compared to using internal combustion engine trucks.
Facilitating EV fleet transition:
The partnership between VCIB and 7Gen showcases a new way of business that facilitates the EV fleet transition – a business model made possible thanks to project developers such as 7Gen that offer an end-to-end fleet electrification package.
7Gen’s innovative service offering helps companies understand the various cost structures and select the trucks that work best for them, as well as navigate and choose the best EV infrastructure suppliers for their needs.
There are similar companies in the United States that operate “as-a-service” business models to help small and mid-size logistics operators overcome the challenges of transportation electrification, but 7Gen is the first company to launch this type of service in Canada, supported by financing from VCIB.
GHG’s from road transportation sector:
The road transportation sector accounts for approximately 21 per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing these emissions is critical to achieving the federal government’s ambitious climate change commitments.
While the availability of zero-emission fleet options is growing, and there are a few examples in operation, the deployment of fully electric commercial delivery vehicles in Canada is still in its infancy.
“The opportunity for a cleaner future is huge as we make one of the biggest economic pivots in history,” said David Berliner, VCIB’s Head of Clean Energy Deal Structuring.
“Innovative financing for the EV industry is the missing piece to scale the net-zero transition,” says Berliner. “Our partnership with 7Gen aligns with our net-zero climate commitment and provides cost savings while advancing cleaner transportation systems in Canada,” David continued.
Federal support for shifting to EV’s:
The federal government is promoting EV usage as part of a shifting transportation sector and environmental initiative.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited at Royal Roads University (RRU) in Colwood in April 2022 to promote EV funding in the 2022 budget and promising a national network of EV charging stations.
There is also federal support to municipalities through an initiative called Charge Your Ride. An information event was held in Langford on July 23.
Two more Charge Your Ride events in the Greater Victoria area are coming up: Saturday July 30 at Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave, Sidney (10-4) and on Saturday August 13 at Camosun College Lansdowne Campus, 3100 Foul Bay Rd, Saanich (10-4).
Trudeau has announced two battery-manufacturing plants in Ontario, in recent months.
Accelerating EV deployment:
“7Gen appreciates the commitment of Vancity Community Investment Bank to help us secure debt financing to enable our last mile delivery client to accelerate their deployment of zero emission vehicles,” said Frans Tjallingii, CEO, 7Gen.
“We will need more financing institutions to value carbon reductions in their capital allocations to realize societal climate positive goals. Additionally, we are seeing more shippers who are including zero emission transportation requirements in their tenders. These are big drivers in motivating carriers to commit to ZEV deployments,” said Frans in today’s news release.
“GoBolt is excited to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles for logistics and last-mile delivery and working with trusted partners like 7Gen and VCIB allows us to move quickly and confidently to achieve our goals,” said Chris Taylor, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at GoBolt.
Building on a track record:
VCIB says its financing for 7Gen builds on their track record of financing first-of-its-kind cleantech business models and clean energy projects, including:
- VCIB’s clean energy team supported the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation’s clean energy portfolio by providing a $32.5 million loan to refinance the Niagara Region Wind Farm, the second largest wind farm in Ontario. The project’s profits will be directed back into the Six Nations community and will be used to stimulate economic opportunity, purchase critical infrastructure, and finance support services like mental health and suicide prevention programs.
- VCIB provided a $3.81 million loan for a residential geoexchange project that provides heating and cooling for 246 residential properties in British Columbia.
- In 2021, VCIB financed the world’s largest wastewater energy transfer project, operated by Noventa Energy Partners. The $38 million project, which was also funded in part by the Government of Canada, will produce enough thermal energy to supply 90% of Toronto Western Hospital’s heating and cooling needs. This is one of the first projects of this scale to use raw municipal wastewater from a sewer.
- On June 16, 2022, VCIB formed an impact partnership with Accelerate – Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV) supply chain alliance. The partnership will support Accelerate’s efforts in advancing ZEV adoption and developing a strong ZEV supply.
About Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB):
VCIB is an Ontario-based, Schedule I federally chartered bank and a subsidiary of the BC-based Vancity Credit Union. A values-based bank in Canada, VCIB provides specialized financing solutions for impactful projects like social purpose real estate and clean energyprojects.
For purpose-driven businesses and organizations, VCIB offers banking, investing, and financing solutions tailor-made to increase their growth and impact. VCIB is a certified B Corporation and a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.
7Gen is an electric vehicle (EV) and charging infrastructure leasing company, focused on working with medium and heavy-duty fleets. 7Gen aims to make EV integration easier as an obvious alternative to current internal combustion engine equivalents. It provides turnkey EV-as-a-service fleet electrification execution support, financing, and software for fleet managers, marine terminals and airports that want to join the EV revolution.
7Gen provides end-to-end fleet electrification for fleet managers transitioning their vehicles to zero emissions for tomorrow. They provide full service expertise; installation, operation, maintenance, and leasing for electric vehicles and chargers. They support companies to focus on their core business while moving more easily, confidently and profitably towards integrating ZE vehicles in their fleets.
Try out an electric vehicle or E-bike this summer! (July 19, 2022)
Electric vehicles necessary to hit climate targets (April 12, 2022)
Trudeau promises national network of EV charging stations (April 11, 2022)
Rebates for switching to specialized electric vehicles (August 6, 2020)
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is an independent online news portal taking a socioeconomic view to current news with a focus on sustainability, health and the politics that shapes these new directions.
Get our free Island Social Trends E-Newsletter containing all the recent articles from this news portal, with additional insights.
Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke has been reporting on local and regional news on south Vancouver Island since 2008.