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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you out.
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.
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.
Want to learn more? Contact our PV designer, Matt Donovan, email@example.com, or get a free solar assessment for your home here.