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Majority of Car Owners Ready to Buy an EV by 2024

A sign in a parking lot indicating the spot is for electric vehicles and EV charging only


Consumers May Be Ready for Electric Vehicles Sooner Than Expected

Is your business considering offering EV charging to your customers? Are your (potential) employees beginning to consider EVs and wondering about options for charging while at work?

If so, a recent study commissioned by motor oil manufacturer Castrol has shown surprising results. Castrol’s study – which surveyed 9,000 drivers, 750 fleet owners, and 30 automotive industry professionals in North America, Europe, and Asia – shows most consumers will be ready to purchase an electric vehicle by 2024.

This is a significant finding as these results far outpace Canada’s federal projections for EV adoption.


What Drivers Want

Another important finding from the study were the key ‘tipping points’ for drivers. These are the requirements consumers need to see met before they would purchase an EV over an internal combustion engine.

Infographic showing three rectangles, each with one of the three tipping points for consumer adoption of EVs

Image Credit: ‘Accelerating the EVolution’ study by Castrol

The average customer surveyed said an electric car must meet the following requirements for them to seriously consider a purchase: a price tag of less than $36,000, a range of 469 km, and take just 31 minutes to fully charge. It’s important to note that these requirements varied greatly from country to country. Americans want the longest range, while the French require the fastest EV charging time. Price was the major sticking point for individual drivers, while range was the major consideration for fleet managers.

All three of these requirements are currently available in electric vehicles on the market today. The catch is that they’re not all available in the same car. So while the range and charge time hurdles are extremely close to being cleared, getting the cost closer to consumer expectations is still a roadblock. However, even this could soon change, with a ‘made in Canada’ option on the horizon. In September 2020, the CBC reported that the federal government intended to use the upcoming speech from the throne to “lay out a plan to create tens of thousands of jobs by connecting Canada’s resource sector with its manufacturing base to produce batteries for electric cars.”


Lack of EV Charging Infrastructure Still Major Barrier

Another key finding was that 64% of consumers said they are already willing to purchase electric if EV charging infrastructure existed to support their driving habits. This affirms the federal strategy of rolling out funding for EV charging infrastructure through initiatives such as the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP). Furthermore, municipalities around Atlantic Canada are already making strides in this area. Halifax and St John’s, for example, are making a concerted effort to implement the necessary equipment to support this EV adoption. Their work could not be more timely.


Momentum is Building

Work remains to be done in the progression towards an all-EV future, but momentum is building. Studies such as Castrol’s indicate that the marketplace may be even more robust than early projections from public officials. Preparing homes, businesses and institutions for the coming demand in electric vehicles and EV charging is both a prudent business decision and a way to set your organization apart in the future.

 

A pull quote image reading: Having charging facilities located near coffee shops and shopping malls along with supercharging should reduce the anxiety among consumers about the vehicle range.”

Image Credit: ‘Accelerating the EVolution’ study by Castrol

 

Interested in preparing your home or business for EV adoption and the government funding available? Get in touch with our Renewable Energy Specialist, Matt, for more information.

Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP): The funding that’s available for Canadians

Battery electric cars are gaining more momentum as a viable choice of transportation for Canadians. The Canadian government has put forth targets of EV sales of 10% by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.  but there are still hurdles to overcome. One important hurdle is the financial commitment to purchasing an electric vehicle. With rebates and incentives, Canadians can get access to electric vehicles with ove

r 400 km of range for under $40,000. By comparison, “Nova Scotia noted an average new internal combustion vehicle price of $37,025”. Furthermore, the environmental benefits of electric vehicles are clear. Even for an

electricity grid powered primarily by coal fired plants, the emissions from an electric vehicle are far lower than an internal combustion vehicle. Kamiya writes “simulation results find that, compared to 2015, 2050 fleet average PEV emissions are 40–52% lower in British Columbia, 57–74% lower in Alberta, and 36–46% lower in Ontario. Overall, we find that PEVs offer substantial GHG emissions benefits compared to conv

entional vehicles in all scenarios explored” (George Kamiya, 2019). Thus, the environmental benefits are clear, and the financial element of the discussion is beginning to make sense.

One final hurdle to address however, is the accessibility of charging stations for these vehicles. Natural Resource Canada’s “Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program”, ZEVIP for short, aims to address this discrepancy.

One round of request for applications has already closed June 11th, that targeted multi unit residential buildings (MURBs), workplaces and light duty vehicle fleets. Subsequent rounds of applications will be targeting public places and street parking. The breakdown of funding is shown below:

Source: Natural Resources Canada

Transportation in Canada is on the verge of a colossal shift, and the way in which we fuel our vehicles is going to fundamentally change. We will be fuelling intermittently at our homes and at our places of work and play. Overcoming the barrier of access to charging is a major step and Canada’s ZEVIP program is working to address this.

If you’re interested in learning more about the eligibility requirements, application process, or want to apply, reach out to our PV specialist via matt@catalystsales.ca and we’ll help you out.

Antigonish Emerging as a Leader in Renewable Energy Adoption

Antigonish Emerging as a Leader in Renewable Energy Adoption

The town of Antigonish is already active in the fight against climate change and now they are taking another important step to reduce their carbon footprint! A two-megawatt solar garden will be constructed in Brierly Brook mainly through funding from the provincial and federal governments.

They are requesting 73% of $5 million from the provincial Low Carbon Communities Funding Program and the federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

The news of Antigonish’s solar garden propagates a feeling that investments in Canada’s infrastructure should be focused on sustainable projects. Whether it is incentives for individuals and organizations to invest in renewable power, efficient products, net-zero buildings or electric vehicle initiatives, there is a movement to come out on the other side of the pandemic with a road-map to a decarbonized society.

The solar garden project in Antigonish will allow eligible ratepayers to receive credit on their power bills through the project. Solar garden initiatives are terrific opportunities to allow for citizens to choose the option for solar electricity for their homes, without entirely funding the project on their own.

As previously mentioned, Antigonish has been actively playing a role in mitigating climate change. Antigonish, along with Berwick, and Mahone Bay have a partnership known as the Alternative Resource Energy Authority (AREA for short). The towns each operate electric utilities and distribute power to customers within their service areas. They have already invested in a 23.5-megawatt wind farm in Ellershouse, hydroelectric dams and are now taking new additional steps to reduce their carbon footprint. We hope other utilities follow suit and explore innovative methods to generate new, clean electricity as demand continues to rise and reliance on GHG emitting sources is expected and mandated to fall.

The Electric Vehicle Highway is Coming to Newfoundland

The Electric Vehicle Highway is Coming to Newfoundland

The electric vehicle highway is coming to Newfoundland. Utilizing robust federal programs, Newfoundland Hydro is set to populate the province with DC fast charging stations as well as level 2 charging stations. This news marks the soon to be completed, coast to coast electric vehicle charging network!

Newfoundland and Labrador currently have fewer than 200 electric vehicles on the road and is the final province to connect with the national electric vehicle network. There is still work to be done to get Newfoundland’s electric vehicle infrastructure up to speed but the foundation is being laid for a comprehensive network on the island. The bulk of the work is set for September when construction of 14 new charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway and in Gros Morne National Park begins. The prospect of owning an electric vehicle in Newfoundland is strengthened by these developments as well as opening Newfoundland to electric vehicle driving tourism.

The development of these charging stations is being funded by $1 Million from the provincial government, $770,000 from the Federal Government (click here to check out our blog post outlining the details of the federal ZEVIP “Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program“), and $500,000 from Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. Each station will have a level 3 charger, otherwise known as a DC fast charger, and a level 2 charger. These will enable drivers to charge their car quickly on longer trips as well as “top up” their batteries when staying longer.  The charging stations will encourage growth within Newfoundland’s electric vehicle market.

If the entire province is to be effectively covered there will need to be a total of around 50 charging stations placed throughout the province says Jon Seary, the Co-Founder of Drive Electric NL. Additionally, to meet Canada’s goal of net-zero by 2050  there will need to be an increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road.

Massive growth is underway in building out Canada and especially Atlantic Canada’s charging network. Soon, Canadians will be experiencing full coverage for their electric vehicles across the Maritimes!

HalifACT 2050: Acting on climate change.

HalifACT 2050: Acting on climate change.

In 2019, Halifax declared a climate emergency and as a result, HalifACT was passed by the regional council on June 23, 2020. HalifACT 2050: Acting on Climate Change Together Plan is a long-term climate action plan that will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help local communities adapt to changes brought on by climate change by raising awareness and helping with preparation, and aid in the transition to clean and reliable energy sources.

 

These tasks align with the Municipality’s goal of being a low-carbon economy by 2050. The overall goal is to prevent average temperature increases from exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels as recommended by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on climate change.

 

An increase in temperature along with more regularly occurring heat waves, an increase in the amount of precipitation, and the number of storms along with flooding and wildfires are what current projections show for Halifax. This extreme weather is correlated with sea-level rise, decreased snowpack, invasive species, vector-borne diseases, runoff, and other unfavorable consequences. These changes are hazardous as they can, for example, decrease water quality and quantity, cause uncertainty in the fishing and forestry industries, and overwhelm emergency services.

 

Building decarbonization is an a very important part of the plan. In 2016, residential, commercial, and industrial buildings in Halifax made up 3/4 of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing these emissions will be achieved by deep energy retrofits, switching over water and heating systems to electric, by bettering the energy usage process in industrial buildings and more. The transit system expansion and an increase in the use of electric vehicles will also help in reducing emissions within the city.

 

Another important area for improvement is the electrification of the transportation sector. Transportation accounts for about 25% of GHG emissions in Canada and is an important improvement area to address. The electrification of this sector is a long process that will be spearheaded by innovative programs such as the federal government’s “Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program” aimed at building Canada’s electric charging network. Accessible charging for Atlantic Canadians makes EV ownership that much easier and helps Halifax, Atlantic Canada and our country as a whole progress towards these lofty climate goals.

 

Another program currently in place that is helping Atlantic Canadian’s decarbonize is Efficiency NS and Efficiency PEI’s SolarHomes programs.These programs encourage residential rooftop solar adoption through rebates of up to $6000 and $10,000 in Nova Scotia and PEI respectively. Continuing access to these programs as well as education on the benefits of solar adoption will prove to be instrumental in lowering household emissions. The solar homes program has seen massive success in Nova Scotia and PEI in its short lifespan and other Atlantic Canadian provinces should take note. With rooftop solar representing a sizable opportunity for CO2 reduction, making incentive programs available for all will reap tremendous benefits for Atlantic Canadians.

 

A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation of climate change creates positive results. Air quality is improved, noise pollution is decreased, there is more space for recreational activities, and the appearance of the city is improved. Which further results in citizens with greater levels of wellbeing.

Jobs will be created due to the decarbonization of the building and transport sectors and from producing clean energy. Additionally, savings will occur as there will be a reduction in fuel and electricity costs. In 2016, $1.5 billion was the total energy costs in Halifax. If the climate plan were not implemented the cost would increase to $1.73 billion by 2050. However, with the plan in place, energy costs will be reduced by $1.2 billion.

 

Halifax has audacious targets for GHG reductions as laid out in the HalifACT climate change plan. However, with public support and corresponding government programs continuing to incentivize environmentally focused actions, Halifax can continue to make massive strides. The city of Halifax is positioning itself as a beacon for the rest of Atlantic Canada and ultimately the entire country, to strive for a future in which our GHG reduction targets are met. Our lives and livelihoods will depend on it.

ZEVIP: Funding available for Canadians

ZEVIP: Funding available for Canadians

Battery electric cars are gaining more momentum as a viable choice of transportation for Canadians. The Canadian government has put forth targets of EV sales of 10% by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.  But there are still hurdles to overcome. One important hurdle is the financial commitment to purchasing an electric vehicle. With rebates and incentives, Canadians can get access to electric vehicles with over 400 km of range for under $40,000. By comparison, “Nova Scotia noted an average new internal combustion vehicle price of $37,025”.

Furthermore, the environmental benefits of electric vehicles are clear. Even for an electricity grid powered primarily by coal fired plants, the emissions from an electric vehicle are far lower than an internal combustion vehicle.

Kamiya writes “simulation results find that, compared to 2015, 2050 fleet average PEV emissions are 40–52% lower in British Columbia, 57–74% lower in Alberta, and 36–46% lower in Ontario. Overall, we find that PEVs offer substantial GHG emissions benefits compared to conventional vehicles in all scenarios explored” (George Kamiya, 2019). Thus, the environmental benefits are clear, and the financial element of the discussion is beginning to make sense. One final hurdle to address however, is the accessibility of charging stations for these vehicles. Natural Resource Canada’s “Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program”, ZEVIP for short, aims to address this discrepancy.

One round of request for applications has already closed June 11th, that targeted multi unit residential buildings (MURBs), workplaces and light duty vehicle fleets. Subsequent rounds of applications will be targeting public places and street parking. The breakdown of funding is shown below:

Source: Natural Resources Canada

Transportation in Canada is on the verge of a colossal shift, and the way in which we fuel our vehicles is going to fundamentally change. We will be fueling intermittently at our homes and at our places of work and play. Overcoming the barrier of access to charging is a major step and Canada’s ZEVIP program is working to address this.

If you’re interested in learning more about the eligibility requirements, application process, or want to apply, reach out to our PV specialist via matt@catalystsales.ca and we’ll help you out.

Solar for your Home: What’s the ROI?

Solar for your Home: What’s the ROI?

The generation of electricity using solar photovoltaic cells has been around since the 1950’s. Early users of the technology were limited to research deployments, government agencies like NASA or in niche applications such as on remote lighthouses and oil rigs. Then, in the 1970’s the use of solar cells for residential applications started to gain in popularity for both the environmentally conscious and for those where grid accessibility was limited. Fast forward to today, where advances in solar cell manufacturing and solar cell technology itself, has widened the viability of solar PV to all.

 

UP AND COMING
In the early days of solar PV technology, the motivating factors to adopt the technology as a homeowner, were only for those fierce environmentalists and those who had no other options. Now, we are seeing the final hurdle, the financial merit of solar, being cleared. Through a combination of falling costs and government incentives available in the maritimes, there is no better time as an Atlantic Canadian homeowner to invest in a solar PV system.

 

solar energy halifax nova scotia

FINANCIALS
In Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick there are lucrative incentives available to help offset the upfront cost of an installation. The average maritime home can support a 9 kW system which comes at an average cost of about $2.90 / W installed. Utilizing available rebates and tax incentives, this average system will come in at less than $20,000 cost to a homeowner and can potentially eliminate a power bill from day one. When factoring in the electrical bill offset achieved by this system, payback periods are as low as 8 years with ROI values greater than 11%. For comparison, the world’s top performing stock market index, the S&P 500, has yielded an average ROI of just 8% over the last 50 years. Furthermore, a residential solar PV array is not just an investment in offsetting electricity bills, its also an investment in your home! A Berkeley National Labs study found that the installation of a solar PV system can increase a property’s value by up to 20%. At a minimum, an investment in solar is a 1:1 ratio of cash to property equity.

 


In the past, solar PV was a niche technology, reserved for the use of space agencies and devout environmentalists. Now, a solar PV is one of the smartest investments that can be made for a homeowner.

LEARN MORE

Want to learn more? Contact our PV designer, Matt Donovan, matt@catalystsales.ca, or get a free solar assessment for your home here.

5 Outdoor Light Fixtures We’re Loving Right Now

5 Outdoor Light Fixtures We’re Loving Right Now

troy lighting beckham outdoor lighting

Light fixtures: Beckham sconces by Troy Lighting | Design: Cambridge Home Company

It’s almost outdoor season here in Atlantic Canada, and we thought we’d help you get ready with a roundup of some of our favourite outdoor light fixtures. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, this is the best time to get your backyard and home exterior in order so when the summer weather hits, you’re all set and ready to enjoy it!

Whether you’re looking for simple sconces or grand chandeliers, we have the perfect outdoor light fixtures for you.

(COVID-19 UPDATE: While our showrooms aren’t currently open, they are still taking orders over the phone! Just head to our Where to Buy page to find the showroom in your area, and give them a call to place your order).

 

LAKEHOUSE – HINKLEY

hinkley lakehouse outdoor lighting

Beautiful, classic, and built to last, the Lantern fixtures from Hinkley add the perfect coastal, rustic charm to any outdoor area. Available in a chandelier, hanging lantern, and wall sconces, there’s a style for every area of your outdoor space.

See the Lantern family here.

BECKHAM – TROY LIGHTING

beckham troy lighting outdoor light fixture

Design: Becki Owens | Photo: Rebekah Westover Photography

Looking for the perfect exterior lantern? You just found it! The Beckham sconces are one of Troy Lighting’s most popular outdoor fixtures, and they’re available in a variety of sizes.

See the Beckham family here.

OUTDOOR FANS – HINKLEY

outdoor ceiling fans hinkley

Stay cool this summer with the perfect backyard accessory- a ceiling fan from Hinkley. Sitting under the cool breeze of an outdoor fan if the perfect way to beat the summer heat waves we’ve been getting here in Atlantic Canada the last few years, and Hinkley’s new collection is so stylish that you won’t be sacrificing style for comfort.

See Hinkley’s outdoor fans here.

ALLEGHNEY – TROY LIGHTING

Allegheny Troy Lighting SF Girl by the Bay

Design: SF Girl by the Bay

Chic and stylish, the Allegheny fixtures from Troy are another one of their best outdoor sellers. Available in a wall sconce and a pendant, they’re the perfect fixtures for accessorizing and illuminating your front porch.

See the Allegheny family here.

TRIGO – EGLO

Trigo Eglo Canada

If you’re looking for simple styles at an affordable price, you’ll love the selection from Eglo. With prices ranging from $72 – $264, they offer high quality, stylish fixtures that will keep you on budget.

We particularly love the simple lines of the Trigo fixture, available in silver and black.

See Eglo’s outdoor collection here.

 

 

 

 

For more gorgeous fixtures and lighting inspo, make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Facebook!

COVID-19 Front Line Counter Shields and Temporary Power Solutions

COVID-19 Front Line Counter Shields and Temporary Power Solutions

covid-19 shields and temporary power solutions

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of our manufacturers have begun producing new products, aimed at helping to fill the recent need for certain safety items. In an effort to help get these products to those who need them, we’ve listed the current available products and would love for you to share them with anyone /any business that you think can benefit from them.

The two main categories are EXM’s counter shields and Legrand’s temporary power solutions.

EXM’S POLYCARBONATE COUNTER SHIELDS

EXM counter shields

In an effort to help protect our frontline workers, EXM is now manufacturing a polycarbonate counter shield which aims to reduce the exposure to the virus and other contaminants. This protective screen forms a physical barrier between your front-line employees and your customers.

They offer 3 customizable designs to suit all types of needs and can manufacture the product in three days. These can be used anywhere that a protective barrier is needed between an employee and the public, including grocery stores, hospitals, retail stores, etc.

You can find more information here or by sending us an email to lierin@catalystsales.ca

LEGRAND’S TEMPORARY AND PERMANENT POWER SOLUTIONS FOR CRISIS HEALTHCARE

To meet the rapidly increasing demand for both temporary and permanent health care sites, Legrand has introduced a new line of power solutions. These solutions bring power to temporary hospital and health care sites and are currently being used in New York City, one of the hardest hit areas in North America.

The solutions include the following.

wiremold medical grade plug in outlets

Hospital Grade Plug-In Outlet Centres

Wiremold ULM Series of Medical Grade Plug-In Outlet Center Units (PIOCs) offer medical professionals quick and flexible power delivery in these demanding patient care environments. Designed to withstand the rigors of a hospital setting, they feature a rugged aluminum housing, hospital grade receptacles, and redundant bonding to ensure an ultra reliable grounding path.

Learn more here.

 

Legrand GFCIs

Portable GFCIs

Legrand now offers a range of portable GFCIs to bring power anywhere it’s needed. Rugged and reliable, they can be used to supply power to almost anything required, including power tools, high-pressure power washers, wet vacuums, groundskeeping equipment, portable signs and more.

Learn more here.

 

Cable protectors

The cable protectors ensure you stay connected and protect any cords and cables from damage. The protectors are available in standard 5 channel (27K lb) and heavy-duty 3 channel (50K lb), and they Include tie-down holes for safety and convenient molded-in handles for easy transport.

Learn more here.

 

Power distribution units

The power distribution units will be available in late April and will be available in three versions. Not only are they more durable than any other PDUs on the market, but they are all outdoor-rated as well.

You can learn more about Legrand’s temporary power products for healthcare crises here.

Please pass this information along to anyone / any business that you think could benefit from these products. And if you have any questions, please reach out at any time to us at lierin@catalystsales.ca.