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.


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

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, matt@catalystsales.ca, or get a free solar assessment for your home here.

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 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


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.

Join Our FREE Webinar Series

Join Our FREE Webinar Series

Catalyst Webinar Series

With so many of us working from home over the next few weeks, we saw this as a great opportunity to connect and learn together online. That’s why we put together our new webinar series, open to everyone in the industry, to share our insider knowledge, industry trends, how our business will change through electrification and what we can do to be ready for it.

Join us online Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11am and 1 pm AST, where we’ll break down the latest industry trends in information packed 30-minute sessions.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020  –  11:00 AM AST

  • Future of Renewables – How it will affect the electrical industries from solar to battery storage
    • Sign Up Here

Tuesday, March 24, 2020  –  1:00 PM AST

  • Future of Renewables – How it will affect the electrical industries from solar to battery storage

Thursday, March 26, 2020  –  11:00 AM AST

Thursday, March 26, 2020  –  1:00 PM AST

Tuesday, March 31, 2020  –  11:00 AM AST

  • Forging a Clean & Electrified Future – Electrical Vehicle (EV) Charging

Tuesday, March 31, 2020  –  1:00 PM AST

  • Forging a Clean & Electrified Future – Electrical Vehicle (EV) Charging

Thursday, April 2, 2020  –  11:00 AM AST

Thursday, April 2, 2020  –  1:00 PM AST

Stay tuned for more upcoming webinars, and if you have a topic you’d like covered, reach out to us at any time at taylor@catalystsales.ca.


This Program is Helping Workplaces Save Big on Electric Vehicle Charging Installations

This Program is Helping Workplaces Save Big on Electric Vehicle Charging Installations

Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program

In last week’s blog post, we talked about the exciting future of electric vehicles (EVs) in Atlantic Canada. We’re expecting to see massive growth in the market, and it’s estimated that by 2040, 25% of the vehicles on the road will be electric. Up until now, cost has been one of the main hinderances to adoption, but that is starting to change, and the government’s new Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) is one of the factors behind this.

The new program targets multi-unit residential buildings (three or more units), workplaces, and light-duty vehicle fleets (ex. taxis) and pays up to 50% of the Total Project Costs (up to five million dollars) for the installation of EV chargers. The program is also open for public parking areas, such as service stations, libraries, restaurants, medical offices, etc.

This program is one of the latest funding programs from Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative. The Government of Canada has set ambitious goals for federal electrification, and this program, among others, is part of their goal of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) reaching 10% of light-duty vehicles (LDV) sales per year by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

Enel-X Juicebox

Photo: powerpulse.net

Funding varies depending on the type of charging station, and details are as follows:

Type of InfrastructureOutputMaximum Funding
Level 2 (208 / 240 V) connectors3.3kW to 19.2kWUp to 50% of total project costs, to a maximum of $5,000 per connector
Fast charger20kW to 49kWUp to 50% of total project costs, to a maximum of $15,000 per fast-charger
Fast charger50kW and aboveUp to 50% of total project costs, to a maximum of $50,000 per fast-charger

The program is open for applicants until May 12, 2020. Eligibility details are outlined here and you can request an application package on NRCan’s website.

At Catalyst, we are excited to be a part of the future of electrification in Atlantic Canada as the Atlantic reps for Enel-X’s Juicebox Smart Electric Vehicle Chargers. The Juicebox chargers are some of the best on the market- they are simple to install and feature app technology, easy to use payment systems, and commercial, fleet, and utility management systems.

You can learn more about Enel-X’s Juicebox chargers here or reach out to Matt, our Renewable Energy Specialist, at matt@catalystsales.ca


Here’s What You Need to Know About the Future of Electric Vehicles in Atlantic Canada

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Future of Electric Vehicles in Atlantic Canada

Enel-X Juicebox

Photo: powerpulse.net

When we think about renewables, we often think of the energy source itself, like solar power, but another huge player in the renewable industry is electric vehicles (EVs). The adoption of electric vehicles has had a slow start up until now, but they are expected to have a massive growth in Atlantic Canada over the next decade. Here’s what we can expect in the next ten years (and why we should all be excited about it).

Massive growth over the next decade

According to a recent report put out by HRM’s clean energy specialist, Kevin Boutilier, Nova Scotia had 176 electric vehicles in 2019 and that number is expected to jump to 8761 by 2020- a mind blowing jump in just one year. In 2019, there were 413 electric vehicles in Atlantic Canada, and this number is expected to continue to rapidly climb, and by 2030, estimates show that we should have almost 229 728 electric vehicles on the road. That number represents 10% of the vehicles in Atlantic Canada, and this is expected to rise to 25% by 2040.

enel X electric vehicle chargers

More EVs = more EV chargers

With this huge growth in EVs will come the need for more EV chargers. Currently in Nova Scotia, we have 40 charging stations (see location directory here), but the report estimates that we will need 2000 stations in the province by 2030 to accommodate the adoption of electric vehicles.

At Catalyst, we rep Enel-X’s Juicebox Smart Electric Vehicle Chargers. In 2019, we brought sustainability and renewables to the forefront of our company’s mission, and we are thrilled that partnering with Enel-X has given us the chance to enter the EV market. The Juicebox chargers are some of the best on the market- they are simple to install and feature app technology, easy to use payment systems, and commercial, fleet, and utility management systems.

What’s behind the growth?

Enel-XUp until recently, Atlantic Canada has seen a relatively slow adoption rate of electric vehicles, but as we can see, this is now changing. Much like solar power and other forms of renewable energy, electric vehicles were seen as something accessible only to the wealthy and were not affordable for the average person. However, the market isn’t what it used to be, and there are newer models available that are more affordable than ever before.

Not only that, but the savings in fuel are drastic, and as gas prices continue to rise, this is an increasingly attractive motivator for many Atlantic Canadians.

In his report, Boutilier looked at the savings that HRM would get from switching just 11 of their fleet vehicles to electric. He found that they would save $134 167 (or 19% of their budget) and reduce emissions by 292 tonnes (62% reduction in CO2 emissions) over the lifetime of the vehicles.




We are thrilled to be a part of this amazing development of the EV market in Atlantic Canada and are here to answer any of your questions! You can learn more about Enel-X’s Juicebox chargers here or reach out to Matt, our Renewable Energy Specialist, at matt@catalystsales.ca

Why (and How) Anyone Can Excel at Sales: An Interview with Eric Fry

Why (and How) Anyone Can Excel at Sales: An Interview with Eric Fry

Eric Fry Sandler Training

This week we’re kicking off an interview series we ran with some of Atlantic Canada’s top business leaders. We got the opportunity to speak with some of the top business and leadership experts in the region and pick their brains on how to thrive in the modern business world.

In our first interview, we spoke with Eric Fry, President and Owner of Sandler Training – Maritimes. Eric is an expert on all things sales, and he shared some valuable insights into how anyone (yes, that includes you!) can excel at sales.

What do you think is the biggest misconception around sales?
Too often there is a stigma attached to being in sales…slippery, slick, sketchy etc.  Sales is the accidental career.  Very few people go to school to become a salesperson yet most professions require some kind of proficiency in sales or business development.  Even non-selling professionals such as accountants, lawyers, engineers, project managers all need to speak with clients and prospects to build their practices.  Many are completely uncomfortable in doing so, mainly because they don’t have a system for selling.

What is the number one thing that holds people back when it comes to sales?
Too many sales people talk too much.  They focus entirely on themselves and their features and benefits rather than the prospect’s problem they are trying to solve.  Much of sales is about developing good listening and questioning skills.  Our value as a sales professional is not determined by the amount of information we dispense, but rather than amount of information we collect.
Interview with Eric FryDo you believe some people are better suited to sales, or can anyone be a sales person with the right training and motivation?
I believe sales people aren’t born.  They are made.  With the right training, motivation and plan they develop into true sales professionals.  Some assume they are too introverted to be successful in sales.  I would completely disagree with this.  Introverts are often better listeners and can be highly effective sales professionals once they have a system they can comfortably follow.

What’s the number one tip you would give an individual looking to improve their sales skills?
Follow the 30/70 rule.  In a sales meeting, speak 30% of the time and listen 70% of the time.  And ask good compelling questions.  People like to buy but don’t like being sold to.  Focus on the client and their needs, park your features and benefits and have the prospect self-discover they need what you have.

And an organization looking to improve their sales?
Implement a sales system across your organization.  Have your sales team speaking the same language and process.  This aligns an organization and will lead to more sales and higher margins.

Eric Fry

Sandler Training – Maritimes

Your company, Sandler Training, has received numerous accolades, including #1 Sales Training Company by Entrepreneur Magazine. What do you attribute to its success?
Sales people know what to do, but typically struggle with how to do it.  It’s one thing to say “I need to get more qualified leads in my funnel”, or “I need to stop accepting think-it-over’s from prospects” or “I need to manage my time more effectively”.  It’s another to know how to move the needle on any of these without having the tools and processes in place that may not be available.  I believe what sets us apart is our approach and training is very practical utilizing tools and strategies that can be implemented immediately.  Most of our programs are long term, reinforced learning incorporating practice and role playing to have participants master the material and adapt it to what works for them.

Is there anything you’ve learned about sales that has helped you in other areas of life, such as your personal life?
I used to think I was a great listener until my wife told me I was awful.  Much of what is taught in our programs can be used in everyday life.  Adapting to various communication styles, asking good questions, demonstrating a variety of body language and tonality techniques are a few examples of how we can improve our personal and professional relationships.

What’s next for you?
We still have a lot of work to do in Atlantic Canada to help professionals in virtually any industry become better versions of themselves both professionally and personally.  So I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon!

Interested in learning more? Sandler Training is holding an Intensive 2-Day Sales Bootcamp this Wednesday and Thursday. Check out the event for more information!

For more from Eric, head to the Sandler Training website and LinkedIn.

And to stay up to date on all of the latest industry news, make sure you’re following us on LinkedIn!