NB Power Launches Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project
Fredericton, N.B. - NB Power is celebrating Clean Air Day today by unveiling an electric vehicle (EV) demonstration project for the province as part of its 10-year Smart Grid strategy. The project will evaluate the suitability of EVs and EV charger technologies for New Brunswick's geography, climate and telecommunications networks. It has the potential to accelerate EV market adoption in the province by ensuring customers have access to the right EV technology, products and services as they consider the purchase of an electric vehicle.
"We want to help make electric vehicles a smart clean choice for New Brunswickers," said NB Power President and CEO, Gaëtan Thomas. "Our Smart Grid Vision means investing in technologies that help us integrate additional clean, renewable energy onto our grid and put off investing in building fossil-fuel based generation. More EVs on the road ultimately translate to lower costs for NB Power and stable rates for customers in the long run."
The EV demonstration project dubbed "Shift Your Ride" has three major components:
- Evaluation of EV Technology and Programs to support charging infrastructure in our businesses, communities and homes. While geography and climate are factors to evaluate, the key factor is ensuring compatibility of EV charger technology with New Brunswick's broadband network. EVs can be charged when renewable energy is available and so real time usage information is available to Smart Grid's Virtual Power Plant.
- Engage and Inform New Brunswickers on the economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicles, including fuel savings and CO2 emissions reduction potential, as well as the costs, locations, best practices and timing for EV charging. NB Power is partnering with national electric vehicle education and advocacy partners Plug'n Drive and The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
- A Fleet Review Service to allow municipalities and organizations to determine a business case and suitability of integrating EVs into their fleets. NB Power has partnered with FleetCarma to offer a Fleet Review Service with the municipalities of Fredericton, Moncton, Quispamsis, Rothesay, and Bathurst as well as the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Fredericton has already received a complimentary fleet review using FleetCarma's innovative software. Moncton is undergoing the review while Bathurst, Quispamsis and Rothesay have all agreed to take part in the project. Other municipalities are also being approached.
"The City of Fredericton is very excited to be involved in this progressive project with NB Power," says Fredericton Mayor, Brad Woodside. "The FleetCarma review provided us with details on a key sample of our fleet, revealing new information that can help shape future decision making around vehicle renewal options. If we are to be sustainable, we must constantly look for new and better ways to do things."
Mr. Thomas also met with car dealers from around the province earlier on today to explain the project to them and learn more about their plans for EV certification and sales.
"Our desire is to better understand how we can support the dealers who are already selling and servicing EVs in New Brunswick and make them aware of what we're doing to support the growth of an industry that will have direct benefits for them over the long term," said Thomas.
NB Power performed a fleet review over the winter, evaluating the benefits of integrating electric vehicles into the NB Power fleet. The results of this review were positive, demonstrating a strong business case for the integration of five electric vehicles into the fleet, as well as adding to New Brunswick's charging infrastructure with new units in Fredericton, Moncton and Bouctouche. All of the charging units can be accessed by the public.
Depending on market growth and public awareness, New Brunswick could see up to 6,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020. To help facilitate that growth, NB Power is partnering with two Canadian leaders in electric vehicle information to promote better understanding of electric vehicles, charging technology and the benefits they could provide to New Brunswick. Plug'n Drive is the nationally recognized advocate for electric vehicle understanding, providing information to help Canadians make the best decisions for their individual needs. CAA is a recognized leader, providing 5.8 million Canadian drivers with driver education and support, and recently launched a web portal on electric vehicles aimed at making the idea of electric vehicle ownership accessible to all Canadians.