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Electric vehicle strategy

The City of Calgary is developing an Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy to meet the needs of this emerging technology. The EV Strategy is being developed as part of our Climate Program, since it represents one of the greatest opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

The objectives of the EV Strategy are to:

  • respond to the growing demand for electric vehicle infrastructure and services,
  • encourage/support faster adoption of electric vehicles to aid in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,
  • build partnerships across Alberta to provide an electric vehicle charging network within the province that connects to other provinces or states,
  • establish what role The City, partner organizations and the private sector should play in providing electric vehicle infrastructure and services, and
  • increase awareness and create enthusiasm amongst the public and industry about electric vehicles.

What are electric vehicles?

Electric vehicles are cars that run off of electricity, instead of gasoline. They are powered by rechargeable batteries, which are charged by everyday electricity. Some types of electric vehicles also include a gasoline engine to extend the car’s maximum driving range. Charging stations are used to supply electricity to the car and can be built into someone’s home and can be found in public spaces.

Why electric vehicles?

Electric vehicles are projected to cost the same or less than the equivalent gasoline powered vehicle by the early 2020s, and already cost less to operate and maintain. The variety of EVs for sale will also increase dramatically over the next five years, including cars, pick-up trucks and SUVs. Combined, this will result in many more EVs on Calgary streets in the coming years.

Electric vehicles emit only two-thirds of emissions of the average gasoline-powered car in Alberta today, which will further improve as coal is removed from the provincial electricity system. As EVs become more affordable to the general public and more are purchased, we could see a 10-40% reduction in GHG emissions by 2040. When combined with The City's other strategies, EVs create the potential to achieve our long-term emission reduction goals.

Stakeholder input

Building on previous consultant research, The City hosted a workshop on 6 December 2016 to discuss public charging infrastructure in Calgary. Stakeholders provided input on a variety of questions, including what role(s) The City and other organizations should play in providing public charging stations in Calgary. A summary of the workshop results can be found in the What We Heard Report.

From May through August, The City has engaged a number of stakeholders on home and workplace charging for EVs. The results of an online survey can be found here. The City also hosted discussion sessions with representatives of the home and commercial development sectors. A report summarizing feedback on home charging initiatives can be found here, while feedback on workplace charging can be found here.

A workshop for all participants from previous workshops was also held in late June 2017 to review The City’s preliminary approach to the EV Strategy. Copies of the display boards are available here.

Southern Alberta EV Charging Network

The City is working with the Calgary Regional Partnership, Alberta SouthWest Regional Economic Development Alliance and SouthGrow Regional Initiative to setup a network of 15 to 20 DC Fast Charging Stations across southern Alberta. Pending approval of a grant application, these stations will make it possible for EVs to travel across southern Alberta, and into British Columbia and the United States, for business or tourism. The network will be accessible by any type of electric vehicle, and will complement Tesla Supercharger stations being installed in Alberta for Tesla vehicles.

The City, on behalf of the regional partners, issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) in March, 2017, asking for submissions from firms that are interested in installing, owning, operating and maintaining the proposed network of charging stations across southern Alberta. A follow-up meeting to ask and answer questions of clarification with EOI respondents was held in early July, 2017, and a summary of the discussion can be found here.

To facilitate opportunities for additional team formation, if desired, profiles of each of the EOI respondents can be found here. The City and regional partners are in the process of applying for grant funding to cover a portion of the cost of the network, which is needed prior to issuing an official Request for Proposals (RFP). Exact locations for the proposed charging stations will be finalized and included in the RFP, but an example distribution of preliminary sites for the charging stations in southern Alberta is available here.

Federal direction

The Federal government’s efforts to develop a national Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy in 2018 suggests that baseline requirements and programs may be implemented across Canada. This may include direction on home and workplace charging, fleet purchases and public communications strategies. As a result, elements of Calgary’s Electric Vehicle Strategy will be delayed until later in 2018 to align with Federal direction, and to enable ongoing discussion with citizens and stakeholders. 

Development of the Southern Alberta EV Charging Network, including application for grant funding, will continue on schedule.

Timeline

Refine draft recommendations Aug 2017 – Mar 2018
Apply for Grant Funding and Issue Request for Proposals for Southern Alberta EV Charging Network Sept – Nov 2017
Review requirements from Federal Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy ​Jan – Mar, 2018
Follow-up Stakeholder Engagement on Home and Workplace Charging​ ​March, 2018
Final Stakeholder Engagement on EV Strategy ​April, 2018