The Future of Electric Vehicles in Calgary


Are electric vehicles (EV) really the future? How fast are they coming? Is our infrastructure ready? What is the City of Calgary doing to support their integration?

These questions and others were discussed amongst 60 citizens as well as government and industry leaders at the September 15th ‘Potential for Electric Vehicles’ event hosted by Calgary Economic Development, the City of Calgary, Capmunda and the Van Horne Institute.

Speakers included:

  • Levi Tillemann, Jeff and Cal Leonard Fellow at New America and author of “The Great Race: Global Quest for the Car of the Future”
  • Ian Neville, Climate Policy Analyst, City of Vancouver
  • Kent Rathwell, President and Founder, Sun Country Highway
  • Claire Beckstead, Community Environmental Specialist, City of Calgary

So what are the community and individual benefits of EV’s?

  • EV’s improve local air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • EV’s reduce noise pollution
  • They provide the opportunity for smart grid application and energy storage
  • They have much reduced maintenance and operating costs
  • And they are fun to drive. The Tesla Model S accelerates from 0-60 km/h in 2.8 seconds! Now that’s no compromise performance

Some interesting ideas and recommendations shared by our speakers:

  • Sun Country Highway built Canada’s first, longest and free electric vehicle network from St John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, B.C.
  • IKEA became the 1st nationwide retailer to roll out a full charging station program – now offering free EV charging at all Canadian stores
  • The number of electric vehicles in Canada nearly doubled in 2014 alone, to a total of 11,000 country-wide
    5-6 electric vehicles are purchased in Calgary each month, and there are 18 public charging stations in Calgary
  • The City of Calgary is currently investigating the potential for electric vehicles to reduce greenhouse gases and negative air quality emissions from vehicles and is investigating the role the City of Calgary should play in supporting this technology. The first part of this research was made available at the event which quantified the environmental benefits of electric vehicles in Calgary.
  • There are 27 electric vehicles in the City of Vancouver fleet
  • Vancouver is the first Canadian city to require charging points for electric vehicles in all new homes and developments
  • Political leadership is essential to sweeping structural, social and technological transformations
  • It was California’s Darwinian, mandate-driven EV market that ensured there were rich rewards for those who adapted to its EV policies
  • Advice for EV adoption includes advocating for government policies that are strategic (long time horizons), aggressive and tactically flexible
  • The City of Calgary should invest in Level 2 charging, provide EV parking on commercial streets throughout the city and amend building codes to require new construction parking lots to be EV ready

EV charging at Calgary IkeaSo what’s next?

The City of Calgary will release the second part of their EV research by year end which will outline their role in enabling EV’s in Calgary. So stay tuned for more information on the future of EV adoption in the city.

The Van Horne Institute is hosting a conference with Athabasca University on November 26 & 27, 2015 on Sustainable Supply Chain and Transportation: the Four Pillars to Productivity. More information can be found here.

To stay involved in news, events and community initiatives, please see the Electric Vehicle Association of Alberta Facebook page.

Read the article at the Calgary Economic Development Website

Source Sun Country Highway