Geazone Eco-Couriers has announced the introduction of North America’s first hydrogen-fueled courier fleet.
“Geazone is committed to providing a fast, reliable, affordable and sustainable delivery service with the customer in mind, and this new hydrogen-powered zero-emission fleet will help us achieve this,” says Geazone President & CEO Andrew Mitchell. “We believe all businesses can be champions of sustainability and we want to help lead this change.”
Geazone Eco-Courier is a zero-emissions courier firm established in British Columbia that provides sustainable delivery, third-party logistics, and freight services to businesses around Vancouver Island and the Greater Vancouver Area. Their 40 new Toyota Mirai hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) emit just water at the tailpipe.
“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.”
Toyota announced earlier this year that it would work with ride-hailing giant Lyft to make a similar fleet of zero-emission FCEVs available to ride-hailing drivers in the Vancouver area.
Geazone’s decision to deploy its hydrogen-powered courier fleet is partially motivated by the economic upheavals brought about by the COVID-19 epidemic.
“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 intends to significantly increase its hydrogen-powered fleet in the next months.
Hydrogen BC, the industry group for British Columbia’s hydrogen industry, views today’s news as a significant indicator of the province’s developing hydrogen momentum.
“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 opportune in light of the British Columbia government’s recent announcement of its CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 plan to assist the province in meeting its 2030 emissions reduction targets and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Geazone obtained rebates from the Province’s CleanBC Go Electric Hydrogen Fleet program, which pays fleet operators up to 35% off the purchase price of an FCEV in order to assist British Columbia businesses in reducing 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.”
Additionally, the federal government recently issued its Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, which establishes an ambitious framework for Canada to become a global leader in hydrogen.