11 entries categorized "EV and EV Charging"

Part 2: Clearing the Air on EVs – Q&A with Pat Lazenby

A couple of weeks ago we chatted with Pat Lazenby, the Project Manager at Suncor and person in charge of building Canada’s Electric Highway, about barriers to EV adoption. This week we continue our chat.

Petro-Canada EV

Q. What should I think about if I'm considering making the switch to an EV?

A. You’ll want to think about a few factors. First, consider your commute length and route. This will help determine the range of battery you need along with the charging options you’ll want to have available. Look at the charging station infrastructure in your driving area so you can map out your route and determine if you need workplace or on the go charging options.  Although it is possible to charge an EV with a typical wall outlet, the charging times can be very significant, especially with larger vehicle batteries.

Many homeowners install what we call level 2 home charging systems (240V) which can reduce charge times by 75 to 80%. The cost of these systems can range from $500 to $1200. Most certified electricians are capable of installing a home charger. If you live in or are thinking about buying a condo, investigate the accessibility for charging your EV.

And don’t forget that weather can also be a factor as very cold weather can reduce battery performance and range.

Finally consider cost factors. There are many more EV options now than there were a few years ago. There are also government rebates available both federally and in selected provinces. This can help reduce the upfront purchase cost that is higher than comparable fuel powered vehicles. The operating costs of EVs are also less than that of traditional fuel powered vehicles so make sure you do the long-term math.

Q. You mention range and charging station infrastructure above. How did Petro-Canada choose the stops along Canada's Electric Highway?

A. We had to look at several functional criteria such as the layout of the station, lot size and utility requirements. However, a key criterion was the distance between stations. Keep in mind that our goal was to enable most EV drivers to drive from coast-to-coast in Canada, even if they only charged with Petro-Canada. This meant that the distance between sites could not be more than 250 KMs and was ideally less than that. We also wanted our customers to enjoy other amenities while they are charging such as our restaurant partners and our convenience stores. Although we could not provide all of these services at every location, many sites have some of these services. Ed. – you can see which services that each station offers using on our station locator

Q. Where can I find out more about EVs?

A. One resource I like is Plug’n’Drive. They have a ton of information online about charging options, EVs and even a test drive location and office in North York which is open to the public. The friendly staff can help answer you may have, and you can take many EVs for a spin.  You may also want to check out your local EV Society. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and chat with many of them over the last year and they are a great resource for your local commute.  

Thanks, Pat, for taking the time to chat with us! Any other questions for Pat, PumpTalk readers? If so, post ‘em in the comments.

~Braden H.


Part 1: Clearing the Air on EVs – Q&A with Pat Lazenby

Back in December we asked about purchasing an electric vehicle and what would be your biggest barrier. Here’s what you said.

Barriers to Adopting an Electric Vehicle

To see how common these issues are, we consulted with Pat Lazenby, the Project Manager at Suncor and person in charge of building Canada’s Electric Highway.

Petro-Canada EV

Q. So, Pat, what do you think about the above?

A. These are definitely some of the issues regarding EVs that I hear about most frequently. Let’s take them in order:

First – that EVs cost significantly more than “regular” vehicles. While it is true that the purchase price is typically higher, overall operating costs can be significantly lower due to the reduced maintenance requirements and the cost of charging versus fuelling.  

Next – the driving range of EVs. Some of the earlier models of full electric and plug-in hybrids had a limited driving range but the reality is that many of the battery electric vehicles made today have ranges between 300 and 500Kms on a full charge, and this is improving every year.

And make sure you’re looking at up-to-date charging station infrastructure in your driving area so you can map out your route.

Finally – the environmental impact of EVs. The reality is that the manufacturing process for EVs creates more emissions and a greater carbon footprint compared to internal combustion vehicles (gasoline and diesel powered cars). This is based on the mining intensity and process for making the lithium batteries.

Where things improve for the environment is during the operating or driving of the EV where carbon emissions drop significantly. Since there are no emissions during the driving of the EV, this results in EVs having lower overall emissions over the life span of the vehicle.

Q. How has EV technology improved?

A. There have been many improvements recently in EVs and the most noticeable is improved driving range.

I do think that one step change will be in reduced charging times. As battery capacity and technology improves, drivers will experience significantly reduced charging times when they are on the go. This is a key reason why Petro-Canada recently installed DC fast chargers capable of delivering 350kW of power, the highest of any system available in Canada. This will increase the likelihood of charging times getting closer to 10 minutes, down from averages of closer to 30 minutes currently and will help EV drivers move more quickly to what matters most to them.

Thanks, Pat! Next week we’ll post Part 2 of our conversation where Pat discusses what to consider when switching to an EV.

~Braden H.


Building Canada’s Electric Highway: Completing Our Coast-To-Coast Network

This week we opened the westernmost stop on Canada’s Electric Highway™  - at 5498 Patricia Bay Highway, Victoria, BC – completing our coast-to-coast network of EV fast chargers. Sites located in small towns and big cities from the Rockies to the Maritimes are now available.

Victoria EV Launch
L to R: Patrick Ritchie, General Manager, Strategy, Downstream, Suncor; Mark Little, President & CEO, Suncor; Wilf Steimle, Chair & President, EV Society; Fred Haynes, Mayor of Saanich, BC

At the opening in Victoria, we heard from several individuals connected to this project.

First, Mark Little, President & CEO, Suncor shared Suncor’s new purpose – to provide trusted energy that enhances people’s lives while caring for each other and the earth.  And how this coast-to-coast network supports Suncor’s goal of being a sustainable energy provider.

Next, Fred Haynes, Mayor of Saanich, BC discussed the historic nature of the occasion; how it is an example of the great vision and political will of both Petro-Canada and Canada’s EV societies; and how these EV fast chargers will contribute to Saanich’s goal of being zero emissions by 2030.

And finally Wilf Steimle, Chair & President, Electric Vehicle Society commented on how Canada’s Electric Highway™ is possibly the longest, non-proprietary fast charging network in the world. And for the first time, Canadians can travel as quickly and conveniently across the country in an electric vehicle as they can in a traditional car.

Below is the video where you can view the opening ceremony and the full remarks.

Canada’s Electric Highway™ covers 6300 km. The maximum distance between charging stations is 250 km, and on average it is 150 km between stations. Each site features DC fast chargers with both CHAdeMO and CCS/SAE connectors, which support a broad selection of vehicles. The chargers can provide up to a 200 kilowatt charge – enough to provide an 80 per cent charge to most EVs in less than 30 minutes. The units are also capable of 350 kilowatt charging with future upgrades.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the inauguration of our westernmost site in Victoria!

~ Braden H.


Understanding the Canadian Perspective on Electric Vehicles

Did you know that in Norway, in the first half of 2019, over half the new vehicles sold were electric? Compare that to Canada where EVs are only 3.2% of new vehicles sold. So the question is why is this the case? From dwindling government incentives to range anxiety (something we are trying to address with Canada's Electric HighwayTM), Canadians have a lot of questions before committing to an EV.

The following video from Global News is a great overview of the issues and objections that Canadians raise when considering the purchase of an electric vehicle.

 

What is your biggest barrier to purchasing an electric vehicle? Take our poll below:

 

Any other thoughts on EV adoption in Canada? Let us know in the comments below!

~ Braden H.


Building Canada’s Electric Highway: Charging Up in Siksika First Nation

This week we opened another stop on Canada’s Electric Highway™  - at Siksika First Nation in Alberta. These are the first EV fast chargers on a First Nation in Canada. Plus, these chargers complete the Alberta section of Canada’s Electric Highway. We’re making great progress on rolling out our chargers Canada-wide.

Siksika EV Launch
L to R: Pat Lazenby, Pat Pambianco, Shane Breaker, Corey White

At the opening in Siksika, we heard from several individuals connected to this project. First, Shane Breaker – General Manager, SRDL Operations, Siksika First Nation - welcomed everyone. Shane is looking forward to great things from this partnership between Siksika First Nation and Suncor, including serving more customers as they move to EVs. Then Pat Pambianco – Petro-Canada – discussed the role these chargers play as customers look for low carbon solutions for their transportation needs. And finally Pat Lazenby – Petro-Canada – discussed the features of the chargers. There is a Level 3 DC fast charger (200KW) with universal connectors on site. And there is also a Level 2 charger which meets some electric vehicles' needs today.

Below is the video where you can view the opening ceremony and the full remarks.

 

Following the opening, I had a chance to chat with Corey White, Manager - Siksika Petro-Canada; we talked about the chargers and his customers:

Have you received any feedback from the announcement of a coast-to-coast network?
The feedback so far has been quite positive! There has been a lot of hype about the new chargers and questions about how it operates and such. Soon EV owners will be able to travel Canada coast to coast and our store is excited to welcome a new wave of visitors to Siksika Nation!

Why do you think having EV chargers is important to your customer?
I believe it is important that we continue to provide quality services to all consumers including those who are eco-friendly and those considering purchasing Electric Vehicles in the future. Having the only Fast EV Charger in the area we are able to provide even more to consumers now and in the future. As the first to have an EV Fast Charger on a First-Nation in Canada, our chargers signify the relationship our peoples have with the environment and sustainability efforts.

Siksika EV Charger

What are your initial thoughts on the charger?
The chargers are a great addition to our location, the unit itself is unique in design and the large touch screen is a nice touch to the charger. Features such as text notification updates better improve our customers’ experience.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the inauguration of the Siksika First Nation site! We’ll keep you up to date as we open more sites along Canada’s Electric Highway!

~ Braden H.