If you missed this conference, you can watch all of the sessions at CUTRIC’s YouTube page below!

CUTRIC hosted the 1st Canadian Low-Carbon Smart Mobility Technology Conference: Battery Electric Transit & First-Mile/Last-Mile Smart Solutions held in Winnipeg, Manitoba! This conference was a first of its kind in Canada.

The conference focused on battery electric transit technologies — including battery electric buses (BEBs), coaches, and shuttles — as well as smart mobility solutions such as low-speed electric autonomous shuttles for first-mile/last-mile and “Mobility as a Service” (MaaS) options. 

The conference helped Canadian innovators, cities, transit systems and manufacturers gain insight into the most cutting edge technologies in Canada and worldwide.

Conference Streams:

Stream A: Electrification of Transit
Stream B: Smart Mobility


September 16

Site visits

  • Leaving the Radisson for New Flyer facilities with a presentation by MCI Coach at the facilities
  • Winnipeg Airport presenting on the autonomous wheelchair at New Flyer
1:00pm – 5:00pm

Cocktail reception

Terrace West & East – 13th Floor

5:30pm – 8:30pm
September 17

Breakfast and Registration

7:30am – 8:00am

Opening Address

8:00am – 8:15am

Stream A Keynote: Leading The Way & Creating Jobs In Canada In Zero Emissions Mobility

8:15am – 8:35am

Stream A Panel 1: Where We've Come, Where We're Going: From 2010 To 2020 In Cutting Edge Electric Bus & Charging Systems

This panel will explore the development of battery electric bus technologies from the days of turn-key proprietary solutions to today’s standardized and interoperable systems that deliver plug-and-play solutions for transit agencies. Panelists will discuss the technical and political aspects of varying battery capacities, varying high- and low-powered charging systems, differing on-route versus depot charging strategies by cities, and the major issue of facility redesign that requires immediate attention for the electrification of transit systems today.

Dr. Josipa Petrunic, CUTRIC

8:35am – 9:55am

Stream A Panel 2: Energy Systems And Utility Integration: Smart Charging, Demand Management & Energy Efficiency For Electric Buses

This panel will explore the struggle to develop utility-led energy systems strategies that meaningfully support ubiquitous and widespread battery electric bus technology integrations by transit agencies. The panel will debate the differing opportunities available to transit systems that find themselves operating within vertically integrated crown corporation utilities (such as BC Hydro, Manitoba Hydro and Hydro Quebec) versus transit agencies that operate within a landscape of competitive utilities, as in Alberta, or local distribution companies that are not vertically integrated, as in Ontario. This mish-mash of utility systems landscapes creates non-standard approaches to transit electrification across Canada; more importantly, it’s led to fragmentation and a dearth of national energy systems planning and strategizing for transit electrification of the future.

Dr. Josipa Petrunic, CUTRIC

9:55am – 11:00am

Health Break

11:00am – 11:15am

Stream B Fireside Chat: DSRC Vs. 5G: Which Connected Vehicle Technology Will Prove Victorious In The Communication Systems Face-Off?

Some people are shouting from the rooftop that 5G is the way of the future for connected vehicles. On the contrary, other companies are adamant that dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) is the only feasible means for reliable low-latency vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication. From cellular network traffic concerns and lack of reliable “truly 5G” speeds, to obsolescence of DSRC modules and spectrum allocation petitions, there is no shortage of viewpoints and opinions on the great 5G vs. DSRC debate. So what to believe? This panel will discuss the pros and cons of each technology, break through some of the myths, and will endeavour to provide some clarity on a topic that has become defiant in its divide.

Kristina Mlakar, CUTRIC

11:15am – 12:00pm

Overview Of CUTRIC’s Funded R&D Projects

12:00pm – 12:05pm

Lightening Talk: Harnessing The Value Of "Solar + Storage" In Transport Applications

12:05pm – 12:15pm

Lunch with Keynote Speakers

12:15pm – 1:35pm

Keynote: Introduction Of Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial Phase I Project & Launch

12:45pm – 1:00pm

Stream A Fireside Chat: York Region Transit's Zero-Emissions Vision For Northern Toronto: Electrifying The Country Through Suburbs, Towns, And Inter-City Operations

1:00pm – 1:35pm

Health Break

1:35pm – 1:45pm

Stream A Panel 3: Transit Strategies For Full Fleet Electrification: The Good, The Bad, The Lessons Learned

Five years ago, it seemed like transit agencies still needed convincing — they were skeptical of battery electric bus technologies overall. Now, it seems every city is “going electric” in some way, shape or form…or thinking about doing so. The movement is underway to turf diesel and welcome electrons as propulsion fuel for buses, coaches, and trains. Whether it’s to save operational money, save the planet, or just deliver a better, cooler solution to transit riders across Canada, panellists will share and discuss the cutting edge strategies they are pursuing as some of the country’s most innovative transit systems to achieve zero-emissions transit services in the mid-term future.

-Dr. Josipa Petrunic, CUTRIC

1:45pm – 3:00pm

Stream A Panel 3: Transit Strategies For Full Fleet Electrification: The Good, The Bad, The Lessons Learned

This panel will explore the ongoing outcomes of transit experiences on the road with a variety of electric bus technologies. Across Canada and the United States, transit agencies are realizing that what they were sold is not always the same as what they were delivered. Transit agencies will discuss the benefits, pitfalls, and work-around solutions they are innovating to overcome the early-stage growing pains of fleet electrification. Panelists will be asked to offer recommendations to Canadian transit systems based on their real-time or historical experiences.

Jess Dawe, Clean Energy Canada

3:00pm – 4:15pm

Health Break

4:15pm – 4:30pm

Stream A Keynote: Finding The Money: Proterra's Financial Innovation To Spur North American Electric Bus Innovation

4:30pm – 4:50pm

Cocktail Reception with Political Candidates & Elected Officials

4:50pm – 5:45pm

Networking Dinner Reception

5:45pm – 8:00pm
September 18

Breakfast and Registration

7:30am – 8:00am

Welcoming Address

8:00am – 8:10am

Stream B Fireside Chat: Who Owns The Roads? Allocation Of Roadways In The Automated Vehicles Future

Automated vehicles could either drastically reduce or drastically increase congestion in urban cores based on policies and decisions made at the municipal level. With the advent and widespread usage of ride-sharing transportation network companies (TNCs), there is no doubt that the future of roadways will consist of automated vehicle fleets from Uber, Lyft, Waymo, and more recently, the big auto players looking to sell rides in their own automated vehicle fleets. How is a municipality supposed to manage and control this? Any decisions of allocating laneways or pricing roadways may result in strong pushback from both the public and private sector players. This panel will explore what the way forward ought to be to mitigate potential negative effects of automated vehicles whilst managing the commercial interests of private sector entities.

Michael Roschlau, Grande West Transportation Group

8:10am – 9:00am

Stream B Fireside Chat: Where We've Come, Where We're Going: From 2015 To 2020 In Low-Speed Electric Automated Shuttles

In 2010, automated shuttles were still a dream of the future; in 2020, they will be a reality in jurisdictions around the world. Automated Vehicle (AV) technology has progressed substantially over the past decade, but substantial challenges still remain before the technology can be trusted and can be “humanless” environments. The CEO of the world’s most advanced AV technology company – Waymo – publicly stated last year that AVs will never be able to drive in all circumstances. So, where is the technology really at now? Where has the technology come and where is it going? This fireside chat will dive into this discussion with two market leading manufacturers of automated shuttles.

Kristina Mlakar, CUTRIC

9:00am – 9:45am

Stream A Panel 1: Electrifying Long-Distance Coach Systems: Cross-Country On Electrons?

Canada is big, vast, expansive and the highways can seem never-ending. But Canadians need to get around. Whether it is crossing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to get from Oshawa to Hamilton to work for the day, or heading out from Calgary to Edmonton for a day trip with the family, coach bus systems move Canadians in important ways. But they are hard to electrify. The energy requirements, the charging power levels, the complicated bus designs that accommodate suitcases, and the infrastructure challenges across multi-jurisdictional highways all combine to make long-distance coach electrification tough. This panel will discuss how to crack the nut of long-distance coach electrification and how to bring electric mobility to Canadians along all highways, country roads and coach bus routes in the future.

Wendy Reuter, Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA)

9:50am – 10:50am

Health Break

10:50am – 11:00am

Stream B Panel 2: View From The Street: Shuttle Pilots And Beyond

Autonomous shuttle pilot projects are popping up in cities across Canada with similar pilots being replicated over and over. So what now? Most pilot projects are short-term and lack sufficient data collection, analysis and distribution to progress automated vehicle (AV) technology beyond the pilot stage. This panel explores Canadian experiences with AV shuttles. Panelists will discuss how cities foresee these shuttles overcoming technological, political, economic and social barriers to enable permanent deployments as first-mile/last-mile solutions in Canada that connect our transit systems with suburbs and workplaces.

Kristina Mlakar, CUTRIC

11:00am – 12:00pm

Lunch with Keynote Speakers

12:00pm – 1:10pm

Keynote: Overview Of National Smart Vehicle Demonstration & Integration Trial Learnings

12:20pm – 12:30pm

Fireside Chat: SPACe: Integrating Fleets Of AV’s Into Public Transport

12:30pm – 1:00pm

Health Break

1:00pm – 1:10pm

Stream B Panel 3: MaaS Hysteria: Cities Vs. TNCs

Municipalities are required to provide transit services to their residents that is equitable and accessible. Transit also provides critical mobility options for vulnerable populations who may not otherwise be able to get from one place to the next. With the proliferation of transportation network companies (TNCs) on roadways offering less expensive ride sharing options compared to traditional taxi services, TNCs threaten to remove ridership from transit, increase the economic burden on cities, widen the gap between socioeconomic classes, and increase congestion in urban cores. How can a city harness these new technologies to supplement existing fixed-route fixed-schedule transit services or alternatively provide small city residents a transit service for the first time? This panel will look at case studies in Canada where municipalities are testing out new technologies for on-demand and/or ride-sharing services in partnership with a private sector entity. This is previously untraversed terrain for transit and may lead to brilliant new service offerings or may leave transit in the dust.

Karen Cameron, Ontario Public Transit Association (OPTA)

1:10pm – 2:20pm

Stream A Panel 4: “Innovation P3s”: Innovative Financing And DBFOM For Full Fleet Transit Electrification

Going electric is not cheap. Up front capital costs, civil works and integration costs, and some of the unknown risks and needs around digitized tracking, monitoring and data collection services mean electrification is a brave new world of shiny new tech that comes with a hefty price tag for cities and risks that are sometimes hard to predict on Day 1. Just as the future of zero emissions won’t be achieved with old technologies; it also won’t be achieved with outdated financial tools. This panel will discuss how to make electrification possible through financial innovation; building on Canada’s history of public-private partnerships, CUTRIC has launched an effort to develop a city-friendly set of “Innovation P3” models that allow cities to integrate technology innovation with creative financial, operations and maintenance solutions.

Dr. Josipa Petrunic, CUTRIC

2:20pm – 3:25pm

Health Break

3:25pm – 3:35pm

Dr. Josipa Petrunic, CUTRIC

3:35pm – 4:45pm

Closing Remarks

4:55pm – 5:05pm

Closing Cocktail Reception

5:05pm – 8:00pm


Adriana Shu-Yin

Digital Business Development Lead

B.Sc. – Environmental Science and Health, University of Toronto

Adriana Shu-Yin is the Digital Business Development Lead at CUTRIC in Eastern Canada, based in Toronto, Ontario.  Adriana leads CUTRIC’s major digital conferences and events. She will also lead CUTRIC’s digital membership strategy efforts to support the achievement of CUTRIC’s national business strategy.

Ms. Shu-Yin is passionate about smart and sustainable solutions to enhance greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Her education and prior work experience has focused on the acceleration towards a low-carbon economy using clean technology and policies that promote economic, social, and environmental benefits. Previously, she completed climate change and sustainability projects with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability as well as the University of Toronto Sustainability Office.

Alexandre Lalonde

Product Manager - Heavy Vehicle Charging Infrastructure North America, ABB

Andrew Miller

Associate Director of Mobility, Sidewalk Labs

Ann-Marie Carroll

General Manager, York Region Transit

Bojan Subasic

Principal Product Line Architect, Thales Group

Brian Pollock

Business Development Manager for eMobility Business

Daljit Bawa

Manager, Business Development, Ballard Power Systems

Dom Repta

Senior Sustainability Advisor, TransLink

Doug Parker

Director - Senior Practice Lead, Transit Technology IBI Group

Hamish Campbell

Country Manager for Canada, Via On-Demand Transit

Jason Conley

Executive Director, OmniAir Consortium

Jaspal Singh

Senior Expert - IT and Development, Union Internationale des Transports Publics / International Association of Public Transport (UITP)

Jeffrey Berger

Product Financing Solutions Partner

Jeremy Eves

Head of Transit Sales, Pantonium

John Rilett

Director of Energy Solutions, ENMAX

John Stepovy

Director - Business Development, Pacific Western Transportation

John Walsh

Senior Vice President of Sales, Proterra

PhD – Science and Technology Studies (Economics and Mathematics Stream), University of Edinburgh

M.Sc. – Science and Technology Studies (Economics and Mathematics Stream), University of Edinburgh

M.Sc. – Political Science and Public Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science

BJ – Political Science and Journalism, Carleton University

As the President & CEO of CUTRIC, Dr. Josipa Petrunic is leading the formulation of national transportation and energy systems analyses, including battery electric vehicles (BEV), hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and zero-emissions transit technologies.

As one of Canada’s leading experts in Zero-Emissions Bus (ZEB) innovation deployment projects, Dr. Petrunic has designed, developed and launched the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial (Phases I-II), the Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstration & Integration Trial (Phase I) and the Canadian National Smart Vehicle Demonstration & Integration Trial (Phase I).

In 2014, Dr. Petrunic developed Canada’s first methodological framework for an interdisciplinary physics-, mathematics- and economics-based modelling tool. TRiPSIM™, Canada’s first electric bus modelling tool, helps Canadian public fleets determine how zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) would operate in their communities and the extent to which they would generate operational savings. Now in its third generation and branded as Rout.i™ 2.0, more than two dozen transit agencies in Canada and the United States have relied on it to plan their full-fleet, vehicle- and block-based electrification deployments.

Dr. Petrunic has created Canada’s most interdisciplinary ZEB Consulting Team specializing in all salient variables associated with battery electric bus (BEB) powertrains, hydrogen fuel cell electric bus (FCEB) powertrains, renewable natural gas-powered compressed natural gas (CNG) powertrains, low- and high-powered charging systems, energy storage, smart controls, scheduling optimization, lifecycle cost analyses (LCAs), lifecycle emissions analyses, and facilities design.

Under the leadership of Dr. Petrunic, CUTRIC has expanded from five founding members to more than 130 transit, utility, industry, and academic institutional members across North America with projects valued at over $50 million.

Dr. Petrunic previously served as the Lead Researcher in electric vehicle policy studies at McMaster University and as a Senior Research Fellow in the history and philosophy of mathematics at University College London (UCL), United Kingdom. Dr. Petrunic continues to lecture in Globalization Studies at McMaster University.

Dr. Petrunic currently sits on the Board of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Foundation and Women’s Transportation Seminar – Toronto (WTS Toronto). She is a regular expert contributor to news stories, panels, and editorials focused on ZEB technologies published in the Globe and MailNational PostBNN Bloomberg, CTV, CBC and Toronto Star, among other major news outlets.

In 2018, she was named as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 by Bloomberg News and Canada’s Top Clean 50. In 2019, she was named Aspioneer Top 10 Influential Women Leaders. In 2020, she received an award in WXN’s Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards for her role in the Science and Technology industry.

Dr. Petrunic is currently based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Kirk Burcar

Vice President, Engineering Services, New Flyer Industries

Kymm Girgulis

Senior Key Account Manager, BC Hydro

Kymm Girgulis is a Senior Key Account Manager with BC Hydro supporting the Transportation Sector. Kymm has had extensive experience supporting various transportation projects throughout British Columbia as it relates to energy conservation and electrification. In particular, Kymm has worked in strong partnership with Transit agencies, Ports and Airports in the Province.

Markus Chambers

Winnipeg City Councillor & Deputy Mayor

Martin Gray

Manager of Public Policy, Uber

Michael McDonald

Sustainable Transportation Specialist, Motor Coach Industries

Mike Macas

Manager of Vehicle Engineering, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

Pierre Zivec

General Manager, Maintenance and Procurement, Transdev Group

Ray Hoemsen

Executive Director, Research Partnerships and Innovation

Ray Little

Vice President of Sales, Nova Bus

Robert-Falcon Ouellette

Liberal Party Candidate

Sasha Pejcic

Managing Principal, Transportation, Stantec

Scott Gillner

Senior Advisor, Transit Policy, Brampton Transit

Stephanie Simard

Senior Planner - System and Policy, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

Tara Hull

Director, Operations Compliance, Winnipeg Airport Authority