Intro to EV Market
The Canadian electric vehicle market has nearly double every year for the last two years. As people realize the benefits of driving an electric vehicle are many. Car manufacturers are getting heavily involved in the marketplace not only to meet demand but also to meet international and national regulations in order to meet the GHG emission reduction goals. Many car manufacturers have made the pledge to only produce electric vehicle (BEV and PHEV) from as early as 2019. The electric vehicle future is a certainty, the only question is how fast will the transition happen?
New Canadian Regulations on New Constructions
Starting in 2017, many new regulations on new buildings have been passed either by cities and/or provincial building codes. Unfortunately, not all provinces are as progressive on this topic so we will be focusing on two provinces: BC and ON. In 2018, new regulations have ruled out mostly for BC and ON which we will talk about separately.
In British Columbia, the EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) regulations are usually written, voted and implemented by the municipalities creating new city By-Laws. These new By-Laws require EVSE to be included in all new multi-family, commercial and residential development. It is important to note that each city has different rules, therefore, it is very important to consult the local by-laws to be compliant with new regulations. Here is an example of what a city by-law would require:
In the case of Vancouver, Richmond, and Port-Coquitlam, 100% of all parking stalls need to be equipped with a 240v 40amp power outlet as well as designing an electrical room to accommodate the extra electrical infrastructure. The requirements include all conduits, wiring, and breakers. After speaking with the City of Burnaby, Surry, and North Vancouver, it has been mentioned that these municipalities will be moving towards a 100% EVSE requirement from the current 20%. For more details, please visit the appropriate municipalities' website to find out local requirements.
In the province of Ontario, the regulations have a similar approach to ones find in BC. However, instead of being on a municipal level, the provincial government decided to take the matter under its wing and add it to the provincial building code avoiding confusion between municipalities. Under the new Ontario Building Code Regulation 2-CC-B-03-01-01 change on Reg. 332/12, as of January 1st 2018, all new commercial and multi-family residential building are required to the have a minimum of 20% of electric vehicle chargers installed as well as putting the electrical infrastructure to all remaining stalls (80%) for future expansion. The electrical infrastructure requirements specify a minimum of 208v/240v 40amp electric breaker dedicated to each stall along with conduits, wiring and wall outlet to be no further than three meters from the stall.
Solution To Reduce Capital Expenditure
For developers, the new regulations will result in extra capital expenditure on the electrical infrastructure. One option is to apply the code as is but that would require substantial cost as the electrical room would have to be oversized as every stall will require a 240v 40amp dedicated circuit. Thankfully, there is an alternative to prevent major additional capital expenditures for new builds. Electric vehicle charging infrastructure technology has come a long way since it has first been introduced in Canada in the early 2010's to accommodate charging infrastructure for the first generation of Nissan Leafs and Chevrolet Volts. Today, the technology has grown to fully-integrated smart chargers allowing payment processing, providing valuable data, allowing load sharing and power management. These devices work in synergy allowing electrical infrastructure cost reduction for developers.
Smart Charging Solutions
With today's technology, it is possible to significantly reduce the cost of the electrical infrastructure. The main benefit that has been of interest to other developing firms is the load management systems our chargers provide. To provide a simple explanation, instead of taking each new electric vehicle circuit at 100% (40amps) when planning your electrical service, the new electrical code permits only taking 1 out of every 3 or 4 circuits at 100% when using a load management system. Using this system results in drastic savings. Many more features are available with smart chargers but will be covered in future posts. As there are many more EVSE manufacturers on the market, it is important to understand that not all smart chargers have the same capabilities/features. If you'd like to know more about your options, please contact us and we'll help you find the perfect solution for your project as every building has to be assessed on a case by case basis especially since different type of building ownership will require a different approach.