Climate Tech Canada - Issue #2
Week of December 6
Welcome to issue #2 of Climate Tech Canada! I’m Justin, and every two weeks I’ll be sharing a round-up of what’s happening in Canadian climate tech.
In this edition:
Funding & acquisitions
Growing momentum for EVs
Funding & Acquisitions
Mangrove Lithium (Vancouver, BC) raised $12.6M in Series A funding, with Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures leading the round. Mangrove’s technology enables more efficient production of battery-grade lithium.
General Fusion (Burnaby, BC) raised $166M in Series E funding. General Fusion is developing nuclear fusion energy technology to produce carbon-free electricity. The funding will allow the company to build a demonstration plant and prove that the technology works at scale.
I highly recommend watching this video from General Fusion that shows how their fusion technology works.
GaN Systems (Ottawa, ON) raised $150M USD to fuel its expansion into new markets. GaN produces high efficiency semiconductors for EVs and consumer electronics by using gallium nitride instead of silicon.
Spare (Vancouver, BC) raised $18M in Series A funding. Spare offers a mobility platform to bring different shared transportation providers like public transit and ride sharing into one place, enabling more cooperation and user adoption.
Polystyvert (Montreal, QC) received $3.5M in funding from the Government of Canada via Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). Polystyvert’s technology allows them to create high quality recycled polystyrene, one of the most difficult products to recycle.
GoodLeaf Farms (Guelph, ON) received $2.73M in funding from the Alberta government to open a new, 74,000 sq ft facility in Calgary. GreenLeaf uses vertical farming technology to grow microgreens with 95% less water than traditional outdoor farming.
Summit Nanotech (Calgary, AB) won $1M in prize money from the Women in Cleantech Challenge organized by MaRS and Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN). Summit is developing a more sustainable lithium extraction process using nanotechnology.
A new investment firm, PaceZero (Toronto, ON), launched this month with over $6.3M in capital. PaceZero is focused on providing venture debt for small private companies and tech startups in the environmental and social space.
Here & There
Canada’s “Most Investable” CleanTech companies from Foresight
A proof-of-concept microgrid community in Pickering, ON
A CBC profile on food waste and tech
Be On Deck launches “Build for Climate” to help create new climate tech MVPs
Growing momentum for EVs in Canada
Over the past few weeks there have been a lot of government announcements around electrifying transportation, so I thought I’d dig in to learn more about what’s been announced.
COP26 saw several zero emission vehicle (ZEV) commitments announced, though several of them were re-announcing or adjusting previous commitments. Canada has two main commitments when it comes to EVs:
100% of car and van sales are zero emission by 2035
100% of heavy duty vehicle sales are zero emission by 2040, 30% by 2030
Both Quebec and B.C. have made the same commitments at a provincial level, though B.C. recently set more ambitious interim targets after meeting it’s first target of 10% ZEV sales five years ahead of schedule.
The focus on electrifying transportation could be particularly significant for Ontario and Quebec.
Quebec’s ample renewable hydro energy and access to mineral resources make it a natural fit for battery producers like Tesla.
Ontario also has a long history as an auto manufacturing hub, and the provincial government finally seems to understand the potential after cutting EV rebates in 2018. Now, the provincial government has made EV production a cornerstone of its auto sector strategy, and announced $56M in funding to help develop EV tech through the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network.
The talent pool in Ontario is also an important asset. Autocrypt, a South Korean provider of vehicle-to-grid security solutions, cited talent as a driving factor in its decision to open its Canadian head office in Whitby, and Tesla continues to invest in Ontario with a new plant in Markham to produce battery-making equipment.
So with all that going on, what does adoption look like?
EVs made up 5.3% of new vehicle registrations in 2021, with B.C. leading the way at 13% and Quebec at 9.9% in Q3. For comparison, electrified vehicles made up 10.4% of U.S. auto sales in Q3 2021.
The share of new registrations may seem small, but it represents year-over-year growth of 67% in new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 69% in all ZEVs.
Speed & Scale by John Doerr, author of Measure What Matters. I just started this book, but I’m already digging the clarity and focus of its message. Doerr uses the OKR format to make the goal (net zero by 2050) and the plan to get there incredibly clear and specific. You can hear Ryan Panchadsaram, Technical Advisor to John Doerr, talking about the book on the My Climate Journey podcast.
Snowpiercer. While “fun” might be the wrong word to describe this movie, boy did it leave an impression. Based on a French climate fiction novel, the premise is that humans froze the earth through geo-engineering, in an attempt to reverse climate change. Now, the last survivors are trapped on a train circling the globe. While it’s pretty graphic, it’s a powerful allegory for climate change and inequality.
Thanks for reading - if you have any thoughts on what you’d like to see from future issues, please let me know here!
Until next time,