Charging Towards a Greener Future

This blog post summarizes some of the information gathered by Sustainable Eastern Ontario in their Energy Management Case Studies project. For more information on this, and other, projects featured, click here.

Electric vehicles are exciting, especially if you’re a nerd like we are at PERC. Despite the cool factor, one of the limits many people run into when considering purchasing an electric vehicles (EV) is a lack of easy access to charging infrastructure. Fortunately, supply is catching up with demand, and the City of Ottawa Electric Vehicle Charger Policy is part of that.EVcharge

With swimming lessons, dog obedience training and Jiu-Jitsu classes on offer, it’s hard to imagine that our enjoyment of Ottawa’s extensive municipal recreation facilities could be much improved. However, a brand new City policy may just change that. With the recent approval of the Corporate Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Policy, the City has outlined its plan to increase EV charging infrastructure at new municipal facilities. How is that for an added bonus: a convenient and fast charge for your electric car while you are waiting for your children’s hockey practice to finish or while you are perfecting your backhand swing on the tennis court?

Prior to the Corporate EV Charging Station Policy, the City of Ottawa had made some strides in developing the EV charging network in Ottawa, but in an ad hoc way here and there. The Corporate EV Charging Station Policy changed this, by striving to address two goals. First, it supports use of EVs by formalizing policy about the installation of charging stations at municipal facilities. Second, it contributes reduces greenhouse gas emissions from transportation sector in Ottawa by supporting the transition away from fossil fuels within Ottawa’s vehicle fleet.

By making it official policy to install charging stations at all new and renovated municipal facilities, the Corporate EV Charging Station Policy is an important part of overall City sustainability planning, as well as a next step in the journey to a lower emission transportation sector. The policy has a number of key recommendations regard-ing its application, including:

  • Ownership and operation of the charging infrastructure should be prioritized to remain in the hands of the third party partners, as third party partners will be better equipped to adapt to changes in EV technology.
  • Mandating the requirement of Level 2 charging stations at new and major expansions of City facilities, with Level 1 and DC Fast Chargers considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • A fee structure that is representative of the different levels of service being offered. For instance, the DC Fast Chargers charge vehicles much faster than the Level 1 and 2 chargers and will thus have a higher user fee.

This new Corporate EV Charging Station Policy is only one piece of a larger effort to encourage community-wide adoption of EVs in Ottawa specifically, and in Ontario more broadly. It not only supports the goals of the Energy Evolution process being run by the City of Ottawa, but it is an important next step in the journey to a lower emission transportation sector, and hopefully one that other municipalities can easily adopt and learn from.

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