Volvo C40 Recharge powers David Suzuki’s electric road trip from Vancouver to Toronto

As the 2022 Luminato Festival Toronto kicks off today, Volvo Car Canada Ltd. is proud to have powered world-renowned environmentalists Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. Tara Cullis on their low-carbon journey from Vancouver to Toronto.

The David Suzuki Foundation has just released a three-year study, Shifting Power: Zero-Emissions Electricity Across Canada by 2035, showing that by 2035, a clean electricity grid in Canada – powered by renewable energy – is possible, reliable and affordable.

Being personally committed to reducing high-emission air travel, Suzuki and Cullis chose to make the trip from their home in Vancouver to Toronto for the world premiere of their play What You Won’t Do for Love, in the fully electric Volvo C40 Recharge. The over 4,100 km journey was an intentional social experiment to help spark public conversation about electric infrastructure and what more is needed in Canada to achieve a truly carbon-neutral country.

“It was an uplifting journey,” said Dr. David Suzuki. “We found it is possible to make the long trip with regular fast-charging sites, freed of mileage anxiety. And after meeting with so many wonderful people – from Indigenous leaders and sustainable farmers to youth activists and city councillors, mobility advocates and more – we feel confident that a grassroots revolution is underway. Corporations that are incorporating real green policies – not just PR greenwashing – show true leadership. And the David Suzuki Foundation’s Shifting Power report shows a clear road ahead to a clean, renewable electricity grid in Canada by 2035. The technology is available. It can be done. We just need to commit to it.”

As part of their journey, Suzuki and Cullis met with Indigenous leaders, farmers, academics, and others at charging stations across the country and visited ground-breaking renewable energy and sustainability projects along the way. Using footage shot by David’s friend and filmmaker Ian Mauro and cinematographer Marcel Kreutzer – who were also part of the journey – there are plans for the group’s experience to be explored as a documentary. From learning about an Indigenous-led buffalo conservation strategy near Lethbridge, to visiting a solar powered farm in Swift Current, their electric voyage aimed to bring to light the future of mobility in Canada; one built together, and that transitions us off fossil fuels.

“Building vehicles for consumers who care about the planet and each other has always been a part of Volvo’s DNA,” said Matt Girgis, managing director, Volvo Car Canada Ltd. “We were thrilled to provide Dr. David Suzuki, Dr. Tara Cullis and their team with the Volvo C40 Recharge for a safe and low-carbon drive. As the official vehicle provider of the Luminato Festival Toronto, we look forward to the celebration of art and artistry across their many forms.”

Luminato Festival Toronto runs from June 9 – 19, 2022 and will feature an electrified fleet of Volvo plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles, such as the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge, to support the festival. Throughout the duration of the festival, rides will be provided for artists, festival executives and dignitaries in and around Toronto. At the opening night party, guests will have the chance to see the Volvo C40 Recharge as part of a living wall installation where with every photo shared, Volvo Car Canada Ltd. will plant five trees through its program with One Tree Planted. Guests will also be able to enter a contest for the chance to win an exclusive Volvo experience with Luminato. Following the event, components of the living wall installation with be donated to local schools in the GTA.

“We are excited to partner with Volvo on integrating their electrified fleet of vehicles into the festival this year,” said Celia Smith, CEO of Luminato Festival Toronto. “Reducing our carbon footprint and integrating sustainable practices into the festival at all levels is important to our work as an arts organization. Working with values-aligned partners and artists represents the synergy that makes change possible.”

As leaders in electrification, the C40 Recharge is Volvo Cars first pure electric crossover with an electric range of 364 kilometers. The car broadens Volvo Cars product portfolio with an all-electric entry in a new segment and boasts cutting-edge design and leading connectivity with the new Android-based operating system. Crafted with sustainability in mind, the C40 Recharge is the first Volvo with a 100 per cent leather-free interior, including steering wheel, gear shifter and upholstery.

The 4,100km initiative spearheaded by Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. Tara Cullis illustrates the need for future thinking. Volvo Cars aims to be fully electric by 2030, and by reducing emissions across its entire value chain has ambitions to be a climate neutral company by 2040.

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