Alectradrive workplace, an electric vehicle charging pilot launch
A new electric vehicle workplace charging project is set to launch in Markham, Ontario, Canada. The ‘Alectra Drive for the Workplace’ project is a smart EV charging system which balances electricity needs to mitigate potential utility costs and provides an easy, accessible charging solution for employees which encourages the adoption of electric cars.
Although the announcement is taking place in early 2018, much of the ‘ground-work’ for this program to start has already taken place. The Distributed Resource Management System (DRMS), a system used to regulate electricity for EV charging stations, and the stations themselves have already been installed as of summer, 2017. The City of Markham, a key project partner, helped secure a charging location in the indoor parking lot at the Markham Civic Centre.
The pilot program was designed to limit cost impacts to the City of Markham, with increases in electricity costs mitigated through managed charging to avoid (or even reduce) increases in demand charges, and by scheduling charging at low-cost periods. Alectra will own and operate the charging station equipment, and be responsible for all maintenance costs during the pilot program.
Workplace charging participants will install a FleetCarma C2 device in their EV to collect charging information and agree to participate in managed charging. For their participation, participants electricity usage will be covered by Aviva Canada, through their sponsorship agreement with the City of Markham.
Information from earlier reports indicates that the City’s largest opportunities for reducing emissions include buildings (49%) and transportation (37%). The Alectra workplace charging project will evaluate the effectiveness of reducing energy consumption and promote the adoption of electric cars as per the Government of Ontario’s 2016 Climate Change Action Plan. As workplace charging will be required in new commercial facilities beginning in 2018 this project couldn’t have come at a better time. It has the potential to become the blueprint for workplace EV charge management in Ontario. Surely, Electric Utilities, Governments, and would-be EV owners will be watching closely.
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- Natural Resources Canada – provider of project funding from its Electric Vehicle
Infrastructure Demonstrations component of the Energy Innovation Program (EIP), which
supports clean technology research and development to promote sustainable economic
growth and to support Canada’s transition towards a low-carbon economy.
- Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) – provider of project funding from the
IESO Conservation Fund, which supports innovative conservation and demand management
technologies, practices, research and programs that have the potential to deliver significant
- Schneider Electric – provider of technical solutions based on its Prosumer microgrid
system, the Distributed Resource Management System (DRMS). Schneider Electric has
brought significant in-kind support to the project.
- FleetCarma – has a unique SmartCharge Manager solution that integrates electric vehicle
data (i.e. state-of- charge) with charging station information to intelligently schedule and
shape electric vehicle charging. FleetCarma is a Waterloo-based technology company that
manufactures in Ontario and has deployments in over 30 countries.
- Util-Assist – supports utilities to implement solutions that support their business, primarily
through metering solution development data analysis, and customer service. For this project,
Util-Assist is providing electricity pricing and demand response signals to the DRMS platform.
- Aviva Canada – energy sponsor responsible for the cost of electricity to charge the program
participants’ EVs at the Markham Civic Centre.
- Robertson Bright Inc. – provider of installation services for electrical infrastructure and
charging stations at the facility.
- Plug’n Drive – provider of customer engagement (both business and individuals) to support
participation in the project, and EV driver support for participants.
Eguana Technologies – provider of electricity battery storage solutions. They are providing
equipment and labour for an integrated energy storage system including the power control
system and batteries.
- FLO – provider and operator of the EV charging stations. Stations will be connected to the
FLO network and monitored remotely from FLO’s national operation centre to ensure
reliability, service quality and maintenance.