Just announced on September 25, 2018, Volta Air was the recipient of the grand prize of the 2018 Innovate BC-New Ventures Competition. Walking away with a total of $110,000, Volta Air is a startup that’s not only innovating for the industry but improving our environmental impact.

While most of us wouldn’t normally notice their contribution, which provides battery powered, energy-saving refrigeration units to delivery vehicles, the impact is significant.

The Problem With Refrigeration Delivery Trucks

You may be aware that newer cars are actually fitted with engines that can turn themselves off and restart on command at traffic lights. This alone was a significant innovation that helps consumers to reduce their fuel consumption and greenhouse gas output. In fact, according to the BC Climate Action Toolkit, “if Canadians avoided idling for just three minutes every day of the year, CO2emissions could be reduced by 1.4 million tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of taking 320,000 cars off the road for the entire year.”

While this is effective for the general public, urban delivery trucks that are responsible for keeping their contents cool or warm have typically been required to keep the vehicle running while stopped in order to run the climate system. These vehicles are generally larger and consume a lot of fuel just for the sake of not adjusting a few degrees every time they stop. In addition, the stops can potentially be lengthy while contents are loaded and unloaded and paperwork is being completed.

Volta Air’s Innovative Solution

Volta Air set out and created a battery power refrigeration unit to keep the temperature regulated without requiring the vehicle to run. This allows delivery drivers to turn their engines off during delivery stops – saving fuel costs for themselves, the companies, and ultimately keeping greenhouse gas emission at a minimum. Cost savings that flow up and down the line.

While vehicle emissions is a massive, complex issue, this company, based out of Richmond, BC is a shining example of how innovative solutions can create a big impact – and well deserving of this award. Volta Air is proud to work with other local sustainability clients such as SPUD, the Vancouver-based local food delivery service. Innovations with this frame of mind inspire others to do the same – and we definitely need more.

The total prize pool at the 2018 InnovateBC-New Ventures Competition was worth over $275,000, and many other social and environmental companies made it to the top ranks.

Keep your eyes open for next year’s competition, launching in Spring of 2019.