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Businesses: Make the Move Towards Transportation Electrification!

Myriam Bélisle No comment

What do businesses and institutions like Laserpro, Tardif Diesel, the Thaï Zone restaurants in Sherbrooke, the CHUS, and the Université de Sherbrooke have in common?

They are examples of industries, businesses, and institutions that were among the first to gradually convert their fleets to electric vehicles!

Whether it was through the acquisition of 100% electric Voiture électrique models or plug-in hybrids, all of the above-mentioned companies agree that making the move has had a positive impact on their branding, the profitability of their operations, and even more so, on the driving enjoyment of their employees and on their interest in electric vehicles! Companies undoubtedly play an instrumental role in Québec’s Transportation Electrification Strategy.

Needless to say, the road to meet the ambitious objective of 100 000 electric vehicles on Québec roads by 2020 and to make inroads into the mass market will not be smooth.

The greatest hurdles on the road seem to be the lack of consumer awareness of the cost-effectiveness of this type of vehicle, and concerns regarding the autonomy of electrical vehicles.

Although battery life is rapidly improving and the introduction of new models on the market is imminent, concerns regarding autonomy can be alleviated mainly by adding more charging stations. This is where companies can make all the difference! 

Whether it is to meet the direct needs of the company’s fleet of vehicles, or to enable employees to recharge their vehicles during work hours, worksite charging stations facilitate the use of electric vehicles and directly expose the uninitiated and skeptical to this mode of transportation. What’s more, company charging stations enable an electric vehicle to be charged not only at home while an employee sleeps but also at work, which should provide enough power for the vehicle to run 100% on electricity throughout the week, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and alleviating concerns regarding the vehicle’s battery operating range!

Still unsure? A number of car dealers offer medium-term test drives ranging from a few days to a few weeks!

A Charging Station at Domaine Howard 

Before the holidays, Sherbrooke Innopole demonstrated its leadership in terms of sustainable development by installing its very first charging station at Domaine Howard.

Borne électrique au Domaine Howard, SherbrookeThis charging station is available for use by employees, clients, and partners during office hours, and may be used by the general public on evenings and weekends at a rate of $1/hour.

Sherbrooke Innopole is proud to contribute to the reduction of transportation-related greenhouse gases in Sherbrooke – the sector accounts for 90% of the city’s carbon footprint. Through simple initiatives with major impacts such as this, we are pursuing our goal to become carbon-neutral.

Charging Station Manufactured by ASTRIA. Astria, based in La Pocatière, is especially noteworthy for its level 2 charging stations, which feature variable amperage of 30 to 80 amperes to suit all kinds of needs. Its stations are easy to install (even with a pile foundation!), and notably, provide advertising space. Sherbrooke Innopole has established a partnership with the company, to provide it with a technological showcase in the Estrie region to help it reach a larger audience and test various technologies during its marketing development phase.

Thus, History repeats itself… Back in 1912, Domaine Howard in Sherbrooke was one of the first sites to be home to one of the city’s first electric cars. Manufactured by Detroit Electric, it was the property of the wife of Benjamin Cate Howard, the father of Senator Charles Benjamin Howard.  (Source: Le Progrès de l’Est, May 24th 1912)

Voiture électrique de la Detroit Electric v.1921-1922. Library of Congress

A Little Boost: the Branché au travail Program

Through the Branché au travail program, funding for the acquisition and installation of worksite charging stations may reach up to 50% of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $5000 per charging station. There is no set limit on the number of charging stations installed eligible for reimbursement. However, the maximum amount of funding available per company or institution is set at $25 000 per fiscal year.

However, you should note that to benefit from this funding, the charging station must be used solely to recharge corporate vehicles (the fleet of vehicles of the concerned company, municipality, or organization) or your employees’ vehicles. It must be clearly indicated that the charging station is reserved for this exclusive use, and electricity at this charging station must be provided free of charge for three years.

Image: Freepik from FlatIcon