Winnipeg City is exploring the possibility of switching to electric transport to reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere from its fleet of 2200 vehicles.
Two electric cars Chevrolet Bolt were purchased and now the possibilities of their use and the possible benefits from this are being studied. Also, the city submitted a request for the installation and maintenance of two stations for fast-charging with a deadline until February 21.
"Support for electric vehicles is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate city leadership in reducing the corporate carbon footprint as well as supporting the adoption of electric vehicles in the community," the proposal states. Now, 26% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Winnipeg come from the municipal fleet.
Shortly before that city council's public works committee announced that it intends to acquire up to 20 electric buses, but at the moment the city does not even have its own charging stations.
"I think it's terrific that the city of Winnipeg is … looking to go ahead and provide some leadership, provide an example for other municipalities and to all of us as Manitobans, that battery electric vehicles are the way to go," said Robert Elms, the Manitoba Electric Vehicles Association president. He also noted that his organization recommended the city to place Level 3 charging stations 2 years ago.
Despite the delight of the fact that the city took up the problem of harmful emissions, Elms identified 3 main problems that may arise during the installation of stations.
The first concerns their power. The city plans to install 50kW stations. “That might be OK for most electric cars today”, Elms said. “In the next few years there will be more electric vehicles on the market that can handle 100 kW or more”, he added. “That is why city should ensure the stations are scalable and can adapt to new innovations.”
Elms also highlighted the problem with the possible unsuccessful location of stations. In his opinion, now the location of the stations in Winnipeg in particular and in Manitoba as a whole makes traveling over long distances simply impossible and this problem must be solved.
The third problem about which Elms is concerned is the availability of stations for city inhabitants. “All electric vehicle owners should have access to them if the city really wants to spur adoption of the technology,” he said.