LACI Launches Zero Emissions Delivery City Challenge in Partnership with C40, Climate Mayors; $1 Million Initially Made Available for Selected Cities to Pilot Innovations

Founding Cohort Members Cities of Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Santa Monica to Be Joined by 5 to 7 Additional Cities

LACI’s Inaugural City Climate Innovation Challenge Helps Local Municipalities Accelerate Emission & Congestion Reduction Through Policy & Innovation Sandboxes, Funding & Other Resources

Los Angeles, CA – August 1, 2023 – The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), in partnership with Climate Mayors and C40, has launched the Zero Emissions Delivery (ZED) City Challenge to reduce emissions and congestion from the exploding e-commerce and goods movement sectors. 

LACI’s inaugural City Climate Challenge will help the inaugural cohort of selected municipalities develop innovation sandboxes and select, deploy and scale zero emissions delivery technological, policy, and business model innovations.

Through targeted resources, collaboration and knowledge-sharing, this initiative aims to accelerate the move to zero emissions delivery to reduce emissions from the first mile (e.g., class 8 diesel drayage trucks) to last mile (e.g., medium duty delivery trucks) which predominantly impact low income, disadvantaged communities with disproportionate pollution and congestion. The rise of e-commerce has led to a significant increase in package deliveries in recent years, and is on track to increase by 36% by 2030, according to a report by the World Economic Forum. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas are likely to increase by 32% and traffic congestion by 21%.

The ZED City Challenge invites expressions of interest from cities across the United States to join a facilitated multi-city cohort whose members will benefit from an impactful spectrum of services and support to advance zero emissions goods movement solutions within their cities, including staff and consultant guidance, crafting ‘sandboxes’ tailored to local context, selecting, deploying and scaling local ZED technology and policy priorities, participation in high level national and regional dialogue with related private and public sector leaders and partners, and eligibility for a portion of an initial $750,000 in pilot funding. This sandbox will serve as a testing ground for various methods of zero emissions delivery, including the deployment of e-cargo bikes for last-mile delivery, electric cars and vans, and medium, and heavy-duty electric drayage trucks; as well as implementation of zero emission curb management systems, and other innovative approaches. By embracing these alternatives, cities can not only mitigate the environmental impact of goods movement but also enhance public health and quality of life for their residents.

LACI has successfully launched a unique model for piloting and scaling startup solutions within cities, on multiple occasions, creating the nation’s first Zero Emissions Delivery Zone with the City of Santa Monica, and subsequently partnering with the Cities of Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh to secure a $3.7 million engagement DOE VTO grant to expand curb access initiatives. LACI has also led a series of initiatives, studies, and successful budget requests to accelerate the transition to zero emissions heavy-duty drayage trucks at the Ports of LA and Long Beach, with the region’s first public depot charging stations, with federal funding secured by LACI. 

“Through the Zero Emissions Delivery City Challenge, we are taking LACI’s proven model and putting it forward to help cities innovate, deploy, and scale what works,” said Matt Petersen, CEO of LACI. “By working with cities to accelerate the move to zero emissions delivery vehicles and technologies, we can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion, and enhance the overall livability of urban environments.”

To kick-start the ZED City Challenge, LACI has released a Request for Information (RFI) to invite cities to express their interest in joining the pilot. Cities that are eager to become pioneers in sustainable transportation and delivery systems are strongly encouraged to apply and contribute to this groundbreaking initiative. The deadline for submissions is September 4, 2023.

Furthermore, cohort members will join a national network of city challenge participants, facilitating the sharing of insights, learnings, and innovative ideas. Regular convenings with key corporate and government stakeholders will stimulate collaborative problem-solving, leading to scalable solutions that can be implemented in various urban contexts.

The ZED City Challenge also provides participating cities with access to direct and shared resources. These resources include assistance in attracting funding, pilot grants for startup innovation, technical support, travel allowances for convenings, policy advocacy to scale solutions, scalable startup innovations, deployment support, data collection and management tools, and more. This comprehensive support system ensures that cities have the necessary tools and expertise to drive meaningful change.

For more information about the ZED City Challenge and to submit an expression of interest, please visit https://laci.smapply.org/prog/zed_citychallenge. To watch a recording of the ZED City Challenge informational webinar, please visit http://laci.la/zedrfi-webinar

About LACI

Established in 2011 as an economic development initiative of the City of Los Angeles and LA Department of Water and Power (LADWP), LACI is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation through startup incubation, transforming markets through catalytic partnerships, pilots and policies, and enhancing communities through green job training.  Solutions are focused on zero emissions transportation, clean energy, and sustainable cities. LACI’s startup incubation programs provide curriculum, coaching, pilot funding, access to venture and debt funds, additional resources for underrepresented founders, paid interns, and other resources to scale emerging cleantech companies.

About Climate Mayors

Founded in 2014, Climate Mayors is a bipartisan, peer-to-peer network that has mobilized more than 750 U.S. mayors who demonstrate climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 48 states and nearly 60 million Americans, the Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress.

About C40

C40 is a global network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities that are united in action to confront the climate crisis. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using an inclusive, science-based and collaborative approach to cut their fair share of emissions in half by 2030, help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C, and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities.

Media Contact

Cameron Edinburgh, Media Director

cameron@laincubator.org | 213-647-1441

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