Electric vehicle strategy

More ways to charge up

With charging infrastructure being one of the top barriers to electric vehicle (EV) adoption, The City of Calgary and Calgary Parking Authority launched 42 new EV charging stations in three downtown Calgary Parking Authority locations in May 2019: Convention Centre Parkade, McDougall Parkade and City Hall Parkade.

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.

The actions associated with the EV Strategy were incorporated into the Climate Resilience Strategy which highlights The City's strategies and actions to improve energy management, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for current and future climate impacts. The Climate Resilience Strategy was approved by Council in June, 2018.

The EV Strategy is also closely tied to the Future of Transportation program, which monitors and plans for the impacts of new technologies on how people will live, work and travel in Calgary over the coming decades.

A free-standing EV document can be found here and provides additional detail on how these actions will be implemented.

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.

Purchasing an electric vehicle

Effective May 1, 2019, the Government of Canada will be providing an incentive for consumers who buy or lease an eligible zero-emission vehicles (ZEV). There are two levels of incentive:

  • Battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and longer range plug-in hybrid vehicles are eligible for an incentive of $5,000
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are eligible for an incentive of $2,500

More information on the incentives can be found on the Government of Canada’s website

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, representing one of the greatest opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Some insurance companies also offer discounts for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Peaks to Prairies EV Charging Network

The City is working with the Alberta SouthWest Regional Economic Development Alliance, SouthGrow Regional Initiative, City of Lethbridge, City of Medicine Hat and Medicine Hat College to setup a network of 20 fast charging stations, with backup 'Level 2' stations, across southern Alberta. These stations will make it possible for EVs to travel across southern Alberta, up to Edmonton, and into British Columbia and the United States for business or tourism. A map showing where the stations will be located can be found here. The network will be accessible by any type of electric vehicle, and will complement Tesla Supercharger stations being installed for Tesla vehicles.

The network, branded as the Peaks to Prairies Network, will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy sourced from southern Alberta. This use of renewable energy was a key element of the project that enabled grant funding from the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada to cover the majority of the construction costs.

Additional electric vehicle tools and resources

Electric Vehicle Charging

There are approximately 175 electric charging stations in Calgary, including over 40 charging stations in downtown Calgary Parking Authority parkades. We know that one of the main barriers to electric vehicle adoption is the availability of charging infrastructure, and we want to make it easier for Calgarians to find charging stations.

With a database of over 140,000 charging stations in Canada and the USA, Plug Share​ is considered a reliable source of maps and reviews of electric vehicle charging stations. Download PlugShare free for your iOS, Android, or visit their web to find a charging station near you, or to plan your next road trip.

Electric vehicle strategy

Read the full report.

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