Program for electric vehicles launched

If you’re among the growing number of Canadians who have made the switch to an electric vehicle (EV), you’re already familiar with battery range anxiety. But, if you’re running errands at the Markham Civic Centre, you’ll be able to relieve those worries.

The Civic Centre now boasts 10 outdoor and six indoor EV charging stations for program participants, plus one Level 2 charging station for public use. It’s all part of the Drive for the Workplace project unveiled by Alectra Utilities and the City of Markham on Jan. 17. The two-year pilot program will assess the impact of daytime EV charging at workplaces on Ontario’s electricity grid.

“As the use of EVs becomes more common in Ontario, the increased load from vehicle charging will need to be managed in order to reduce costs to building owners and utilities,” said Terry Young, Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) policy, engagement and innovation vice president. “Understanding the impact of daytime EV charging at workplaces will help us to manage peak demand on the provincial electricity grid and reduce future electricity infrastructure investments.”

By making EV charging stations more accessible, Drive for the Workplace will help reduce battery range anxiety for participating drivers and support the provincial goal of increasing EV sales to five per cent by 2020 of all new passenger vehicles sold.

“Our business customers are seeking simple solutions to implement workplace EV charging systems that manage electricity demand and energy costs, while providing their employees with the technologies they need to confidently drive their EVs to and from work,” said Brian Bentz, Alectra Inc. president and CEO.

“The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions aligns with the Greenprint, Markham’s Community Sustainability Plan, which targets net zero energy, water, waste and emissions by 2050,” said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, a member of the Alectra Board of Directors.

The pilot program will receive funding from the IESO Conservation Fund and Natural Resources Canada. Alectra Utilities and corporate partners Aviva Canada, Schneider Electric, FleetCarma, Util-Assist, Robertson Bright, Plug’n Drive, Eguana Technologies and FLO will fund the balance. Learn more at www.AlectraDrive.com.

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