Cold Weather Complicates Electric Vehicle Deployment

By Bill Franklin

The Electric Vehicle revolution is everywhere, featured in news headlines, YouTube EV Road reviews, endlessly analyzed in business publications, pursued and promoted by politicians. This amazing sea change after 120 years of the internal combustion engine (ICE) has inspired city councils to mandate fleet services switch to electric. Alas, this is where the rubber hits the road, and reality and reason collide with aspirations.

The City of Saskatoon’s Parking management is a client of our company and approached us to evaluate the feasibility of switching their LPR vehicles to all electric. We already had installed autoChalk LPR on electric vehicles elsewhere and it had minimal impact. But cold temperatures significantly impact battery performance and increase a vehicle’s energy consumption. We were intrigued to join them as part of
their analysis.

Since the internal combustion engine has been around for over a century, engineers and manufacturers have improved both the engines and vehicles to face extreme cold. At times Saskatoon dips to minus 50°C yet their diesel- and gas-powered vehicles, trucks, tractors, snowplows, SUVs are out in the field doing their job. 

What then should be expected of an electric vehicle?

• Operates in temperatures from -50°C to +40°C.

• Runs all day on a tank of fuel or an electric charge.

• Starts up reliability every morning and runs all day, month after month.

• Is comfortable to drive, has storage space, can have equipment mounted to it (e.g., License Plate Recognition equipment).

• Fleet services can maintain it and get parts.

• Purchase price of CAD$40,000 or less for an EV SUV.

• Maintenance cost is reasonable.

• Infrastructure cost is affordable.

Tesla and Nissan have been producing electric cars and SUVs for fifteen years and Toyota has sold the very successful Prius hybrid…

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How do we inspire Canada’s largest city to adopt and embrace Electric Vehicles?

By: Jeffrey Dea, Vice President, Business Development, Toronto Parking Authority

The International Energy Agency reports that, despite a pandemic disrupted and turbulent year, sales of Electric Vehicles (EV) broke all records in 2021, and there is no sign this trend is waning in 2022.

From innovative battery technology to new EV models hitting the roads, there is no question that the stage is set for the EV market to reach its true potential and transform the way we travel. However, Toronto still faces a significant barrier to progress in this market – the lack of a comprehensive and publicly accessible EV charging network. 

As adoption takes hold, EV owners will demand a charging network that offers simplicity, speed, choice, and ease of use. Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) is an important ingredient in meeting consumer demand in this regard, and our vision to become the world’s best provider of sustainable parking, bike share, and last-mile mobility experiences, strategically positions us to be a catalyst for EV adoption. We strive to meet our customers’ expectations every day, and we see our role in the transition to EV as an exciting opportunity, but there is no time to spare.

The increase in EV ownership is creating a demand that we need to meet now. In addition, the City of Toronto’s TransformTO Strategy, launched in 2017, calls for a reduction in community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040 – 10 years earlier than initially proposed. The strategy establishes 2030 goals that will see 30 percent of all registered vehicles on the road be electric and 75 percent of school/work trips under 5 km either walked, biked, or taken by transit.

Aligned with the global push for sustainability measures, Toronto’s net zero strategy is ambitious, and…

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