For municipalities and utilities ‘green’ strategies can take a number of forms. While these strategies may include a wide range of approaches to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, enabling Plug-in Electric Vehicle (“EV”) adoption has been a priority for many major cities. In June 2021, Canada announced 2035 as a target for all car sales to be zero-emissions vehicles. As Canadian municipalities alongside their LDC’s build and support charging infrastructure to meet this incoming fleet of EV’s, here are three of the most successful strategies that are being implemented across North America.
- Fleet-First Approach
Utilities are supporting the transition to EV by testing and implementing EV Chargers for their own fleets before rolling them out to the public. New York’s city wide administrative services, for example, has a fleet vehicle charging network with over 1,000 Level 2 Chargers, 87 solar charging ports, and 58 DC Fast Chargers supporting a fleet of 2,700 EV’s. This strategy allows them to troubleshoot issues before full public adoption.
- Leveraging Existing Infrastructure
Utilities are leveraging existing infrastructure to mitigate the upfront costs of building out the infrastructure, save space, and provide a solution for people without driveways. For instance, in London, Siemens and Ubitricity have converted over 1,300 lampposts to provide on-street EV Charging
- Leaning-in to new technologies
Finally, utilities have the ability to pilot and ‘road-test’ new technologies that will make EV charging easier, more convenient, and more energy efficient. Technologies like wireless EV charging and off-grid EV solar carports are beginning to come to market.
Overall, utilities will continue to play an increasingly instrumental role in making sure that the planned EV adoption is met with charging options for every type of EV owner--a role that will continue to grow along with lower EV prices, increased EV models, and increased consumer demand.
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