Electric Vehicles and the EV Pilot Project
The City is excited to announce the installation of two dual-port electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) in the parking lots at Lakewood and Lawson Civic Centres. The EVCS pilot will run from May 31, 2023, to May 31, 2025.
These stations will be featured as amenities for public use, and Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers can use them at no cost while using the leisure centre or while shopping at surrounding businesses.
These charging stations aim to initiate community conversations and education about Electric Vehicles, emission reduction targets, and other climate actions. The usage will be monitored to inform future scaling of City-owned charging station infrastructure. The data will be shared with Saskatoon's business community to assist them in making their own decisions about investing in EV infrastructure.
What should I do if the charging station is not working?
Please note that Tesla drivers will require an adaptor to plug into this charging station.
First, check to make sure the station is active: confirm that the charging station status is Active on the map in your ChargePoint app and if there are any service messages regarding maintenance or repair or on the screen of the charging station.
If the charging station is active and you are still not able to charge or connect to the ChargePoint app, please contact the ChargePoint customer care centre at 877-850-4562.
Frequently Asked Questions
EVs and the Low Emissions Community Plan
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|
How do I use the City’s EV charging stations?
- To use the stations, you will need to create a ChargePoint account and download the app (Apple App Store or Google Play Store) onto your phone or request a free card to be mailed to you.
- You can use this app with all ChargePoint stations. Please click HERE to watch a video on how to use the ChargePoint app.
- Check out PlugShare to find ChargePoint and other charging stations.
- For more information, please click HERE to see a video on how to charge an Electric Vehicle using the charging station.
What are the technical specifications of the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure installed by the City?
- The charging stations are Level 2 chargers from ChargePoint with dual port capabilities (2 Electric Vehicles can charge at a time).
- The power rating of each charge head in the charging station is 6.2 kW power (208 Volt AC with 30 Amp input).
- One charging session can last up to 3 hours and can provide an electric vehicle (hatchback car) with a range of up to 75 miles, at a rate of 4 miles per kWh.
Why do Tesla cars require a special adaptor?
Tesla vehicles utilize a specific charging connector that differs from the standard plugs used at ChargePoint stations. ChargePoint stations typically feature J1772 plugs, which are commonly used by various electric vehicles in Canada and the United States. However, Tesla owners have the flexibility to utilize adapters, such as the J1772-to-Tesla adapter, to enable Level 2 public charging at ChargePoint and similar stations.
Will the charging stations always be free to use?
Fees are likely to be introduced after the pilot period. Fees will be determined based on the results of the pilot and other factors such as the charging station usage and overall feedback from electric vehicle drivers.
Why is the City installing EV Charging Stations?
Comprehensive, publicly accessible EVCS would provide drivers without access to at-home charging increased confidence around charger availability to make the switch to EVs.
What is the current rate of adoption for EVs?
The national sales of electric vehicles have been growing rapidly in the last five years, with sales increasing 75% from 2016 to 2017 and increasing an additional 79% from 2017 to 2018. EV sales were the highest in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, largely due to comprehensive municipal and provincial EV strategies and incentives for the purchase of EVs.
In Saskatoon, EV adoption has grown substantially. In 2016 there were 41 plug-in and hybrid EV’s registered in Saskatoon growing to 477 in 2021, an average of a 65% increase per year. The adoption of electric vehicles in Canada is expected to continue; a recent survey by KPMG found that 71% of Canadians would consider purchasing an EV the next time they buy a vehicle and 49% are more likely to buy an EV today compared to 2021.
How many EV charging stations are there in Saskatoon? Is information about this available in the public domain?
According to PlugShare, there are over 30 charging locations in Saskatoon. PlugShare is an online service and mobile app that helps EV drivers find and share information about charging stations. It maintains a worldwide database of charging stations and allows users to search based on factors such as location, charging speed, and network. The City’s charging stations are also included on this map.
Why is the City investing in public charging stations when EV users charge at home?
Home charging is the most common place for EV users to plug in their vehicles. However, a major barrier to EV adoption is a lack of access to charging infrastructure that is convenient for everyday use and sufficient to meet community demand.
If the City invests in a larger, more fulsome charging infrastructure, drivers without consistent access to at-home charging will be able to rely on public charging and could confidently make the switch to EVs, thus increasing public charging station usage.
Why were Lawson and Lakewood Civic Centres selected for the Pilot?
Lawson and Lakewood Civic Centre have been identified as desirable locations for public charging because:
- There are services nearby where people tend to spend at least 1-2 hours.
- They are located in areas of the City that have few chargers.
- They have relatively simple access to electrical infrastructure that have no known capacity or grid-limitations (to be confirmed by electrical review); and
- They do not have parking limitations like those at other civic centres or downtown.
Other EV Projects and Plans
Zero-Emission Vehicle Adoption Strategy
The City is developing a Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Adoption Roadmap that will outline the path forward to meet LEC Actions and reduce greenhouse gas reductions. Public engagement on this was conducted in Summer 2023.
The roadmap will provide:
- A transition plan for the City’s fleet vehicles that considers the availability and affordability of ZEV’s and their accessory equipment and technical expertise required, based on current market trends and life-cycle costs
- Public charging network requirements to support Saskatoon’s full adoption of EV, including any grid limitations, and appropriate usage fee-models for sustaining station operation
- A plan for encouraging community adoption of ZEVs such as policy changes and education/incentive programming
- Equipment end-of-life management, for both internal combustion vehicles getting replaced, and the zero-emission vehicles
The Fleet and Saskatoon Light & Power EV Pilot
As a pilot project, the City added four battery electric vehicles to its fleet. These vehicles were used by Saskatoon Light & Power, Facilities Management and Parking Enforcement. The pilot project began in March 2021 and was completed in March 2023.
Over the course of the two-year pilot the four cars have travelled a combined distance of over 110,000 km with minimal maintenance costs, significantly reduced operating costs, a positive reduction in GHG emissions, and comparable functionality to the internal combustion engine vehicles they replaced.
Saskatoon Light & Power studied the charging requirements of the vehicles which will help inform planning for future electrical infrastructure needs as EV adoption continues to increase.
A final report will be available later in 2023. The four EVs will remain in use until the end of the lease period in 2025.
Transit Fleet EV Bus Pilot Saskatoon Transit signs contract with Nova Bus for first two battery-electric buses
Saskatoon Transit is taking the first step in electrifying its bus fleet by signing a contract for two Nova LFSe+ electric buses. These will be the first two permanent battery-electric buses in Saskatoon Transit’s fleet and the first in Saskatchewan.
The long-range battery-electric bus can travel more than 300 kilometres on a single charge. This will save Saskatoon Transit approximately $44,000 in fuel costs annually per bus and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60 tonnes per bus annually once in operation.