Electric vehicles (EVs) charged by Saskatchewan’s current grid emit about 30% less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than fuel powered vehicles. EVs also do not emit any tailpipe carbon monoxide, making the surrounding air cleaner to breathe. There is less maintenance for EVs than internal combustion engines (ICE) as they do not need oil changes, spark plugs, or transmission servicing.
For these and other reasons, the City of Saskatoon (City) has committed to four fuel-switching actions for emissions reductions in transportation though the Low Emissions Community Plan (LEC Plan).
|LEC Action Number||Action||Target|
|17||Electrify the Municipal fleet over the near-term||100% of the Municipal fleet is electric by 2030|
|18||Electrify the Municipal transit fleet||100% of the Municipal transit fleet is electric by 2030|
|21||Electrify personal vehicles through incentive programs, education, and automotive dealer partnerships||30% of all new vehicle sales are electric by 2030, 90% by 2050|
|21||Electrify commercial vehicles through incentive programs, education, and automotive dealer partnerships||50% of all new heavy trucks are zero emissions by 2030, 100% by 2040|
The following initiatives are the first steps in meeting these actions and their emissions-reductions targets.
Fleet/Saskatoon Light & Power EV Pilot
The City is piloting four battery electric Chevy Bolts in its fleet to be used by Saskatoon Light & Power, Facilities Management and Parking Enforcement.
Data will be collected to determine GHG emissions, lifecycle operational & maintenance costs, and verify that the vehicles are just as functional as ICE vehicles for fleet use. Saskatoon Light & Power will also study the charging requirements of the vehicles which will help form planning for future electrical infrastructure needs as EV adoption continues to increase.
Keep a look out for our new EVs on the road as we create our future community, one vehicle at a time!
Transit Fleet EV Bus Pilot
Saskatoon Transit completed a one-year demonstration test of a Build Your Dreams (BYD) electric bus from November 2020 to October 2021. The Saskatchewan Research Council conducted analysis of operational data from the Pilot. Findings included:
- The electric bus operated reliably in both cold and hot weather;
- The HVAC system was powered from the electric battery and consumed more energy than the bus motor during the coldest months of the year resulting in a lower effective range per charge;
- The GHG emissions were approximately 47% lower for the electric bus during the trial than a comparable diesel bus over the same distance; and
- The total cost of ownership of a Saskatoon-based electric bus is expected to be lower than a diesel bus.
More information on this successful project can be seen on Saskatoon Transits’ webpage, as well as in Saskatchewan Research Council’s Performance Report.
Public EV Charging Station Pilot
As part of a Pilot, the City is currently installing two charging stations for public use at 1-2 recreational facilities, Lakewood Civic Centre and possibly Lawson Civic Centre. These locations were selected for the following reasons:
- Proximity to nearby services where people tend to spend at least 1-2 hours;
- Located in areas of the city that have few chargers;
- Nearby electrical infrastructure that has no known capacity or grid-limitations (to be confirmed by electrical review); and
- Have sufficient parking available, unlike those at other leisure centres or downtown.
These stations will be free for use for the duration of the Pilot (2 years); afterwards, a funding plan will be determined based on the performance of the pilot and best practices and recommendations determined through the upcoming Zero-Emission Vehicle Adoption Strategy.
Zero-Emission Vehicle Adoption Strategy
As defined by Transport Canada: Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) are vehicles that can operate without producing tailpipe emissions, such as battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The City will be developing a Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Adoption Roadmap that outlines the path forward to meet LEC Action No. 17, 18, 21, & 22.
The roadmap will consider:
- The availability and affordability of ZEV’s and their accessory equipment and technical expertise required, based on current market trends and life-cycle costs;
- Charging network requirements to support Saskatoon’s full adoption of EV, including any grid limitations, and appropriate usage fee-models for sustaining station operation;
- Workplace and at-home home charging needs, including infrastructure, policy, and capacity changes for buildings; and
- Equipment end-of-life management, for both internal combustion vehicles getting replaced, and the zero-emission vehicles.
SaskEV Society Inc. (SaskEV) is a non-profit organization formed by EV owners and enthusiasts from Saskatoon and the surrounding area. Saskatoon Light & Power and the City’s sustainability department are a joint Platinum sponsor for SaskEV in the 2022/2023 year.