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, and with the provincial rebate, EVs are more accessible to Canadians than ever before. One final hurdle to address, however, is the accessibility of charging stations for these EVs. Clean foundation’s EV Boost program aims to address this discrepancy.
Applications for this funding open on February 7th, 2022, targeting multi-unit buildings, workplaces, on-street parking, public places and light-duty vehicle fleets for level 2 electric vehicle chargers.
What chargers are eligible for funding?
Level 2 electric vehicle chargers that are both new and permanent installations are eligible for funding. Chargers must also be “connected” or capable of communicating to other stations through cellular/wireless signals.
Proprietary connector types (any type other than a J1772 charger) must only represent a maximum of 75 per cent of all chargers proposed in a project. At least 25 per cent of chargers installed in a project must be Universal Charging Connectors (J1772 chargers).
Source: Clean Foundation
The EV Boost initiative is, however, a competitive process and there are some key components to consider when putting together your application.
Here are the top 4 must-knows for a successful EV Boost application:
TIP 1: IDENTIFY THE SITES THAT ARE A TOP PRIORITY FOR YOUR EV CHARGING GOALS
Earlier in the blog post, we mentioned both federal and provincial incentives for EV drivers. Where on your property does it make the most sense to give users access to charging? Perhaps for a multi-unit building, tenants have already asked about EV chargers. Or maybe you have employees who are interested in purchasing an EV but are holding off due to the lack of charging available at work. In either case, offering EV charging is a great differentiator for tenant or employee attraction and retention.
Once a site has been chosen, the next step is to carefully consider where in the building the chargers make the most sense. For example, in an underground parking scenario, a location that has the most accessibility to the electric room is a great place to start. With that being said, something to consider while taking on an EV charging project is future-proofing buildings to allow for mass EV charging demand. One could allocate electric room space to the infrastructure and run the appropriate pipe and wire to the charging stations.
TIP 2: WHAT IS THE AVAILABLE INFRASTRUCTURE AT THE SITES?
This is an extremely important question to consider when looking to install EV chargers. A standard level 2 charger can draw between 32A and 50A of current while in use. Ensuring your building has the available ampacity to support your desired number of chargers is a must.
One feature to think about is load sharing across chargers. Products that are OCPP compliant can allow multiple chargers to share a single circuit. This can save massive infrastructure costs in an EV charging project. We are quickly realizing this makes the most sense for almost all MURB deployments where a tenant only needs 1-3 hours per night to get their EV back to 80% state of charge.
Another way to showcase an applicant’s attention to detail would be to engage local contractors for pricing on the execution of the project. In addition, communicating with local utilities (for large projects, > 50 kW) about a proponent’s intended plan can show an applicant’s readiness to pursue the project. Demonstrating that available electrical service has been considered is a key component of a successful EV Boost application.
TIP 3: WHAT IS THE TIMELINE OF YOUR EV BOOST PROJECT?
Clean Foundation is most interested in supporting projects that have a clear, defined goal from an applicant who demonstrates that they can get the job done. Part of this is having a well-defined timeline for the project. To be eligible for the program, installations for successful applicants must be completed by July 2022. It is recommended that successful applicants aim to finalize charger installations prior to July in case of unexpected delays. See some examples below:
|Activities||Principal Milestones||Initiation Date
|Request for Application||Application received|
|Gathering necessary info for Application||Site list built. Number of chargers per site agreed to internally. Enlist local contractors to get quotes on material. 2022 Internal Capital Funding allocated.|
|Securing 50% of project costs||Sign Contribution Agreement|
|Establish a Schedule with installers||Ensure that program timelines, as well as internal goals for installation timeframe, are met.|
|Obtain Required Permits for Level 2 Installation||Engage with utilities to obtain the necessary permits for installation at each site. This is to be carried out by chosen installer and overseen by the applicant.|
|Installation of Charging Stations||Work undertaken by local installers to get chargers operational. For in-ground parking, run wiring to electrical room. For above-ground installations, trenching must take place and further inspections to verify the work.|
These are just a few examples of milestones to highlight in an application. Showcasing that one has carefully considered all the work that needs to be undertaken and setting target timelines is an important part of a successful EV Boost application.
TIP 4: WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY’S RATIONALE FOR UNDERTAKING AN EV PROJECT?
One of Clean’s EV Boost application goals is to identify projects that are in line with Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and continue working toward our Paris agreement targets. Thus, it makes sense that Clean is interested in partnering with organizations that have similar goals and values when it comes to sustainability.
As one goes through the EV Boost process, consideration must be given to a company’s ecological commitment. If any other sustainable, green initiatives have been taken on by your company, make sure to include as much information about it as possible. Clean is most interested in projects that make charging accessible to the most Canadians for the most amount of time. Be ready to explain how the electric vehicle charging project with your company is going to further the government’s goals. Being ready to speak to how EV charging is in line with your company’s goals and values and how charging at your site will benefit most Canadians is a crucial component of a successful EV Boost application.
SO, WHAT NOW?
Clean’s EV Boost initiative is a great way to build out a nationwide network of electric vehicle infrastructure to make Canada an easier place to go electric. Although the funding is starting in February, it is a limited supply and a competitive process. Thus, putting the most comprehensive application together is extremely important to ensure your company gets access to the funding it needs to provide charging to an ever-growing EV driving clientele.
If you have further questions about EV Boost, or if you’d like to learn more about how Catalyst can assist you in the application process, get in touch with our Renewable Energy Specialist, Andrew, for more information!