SRP Electric Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Electric Vehicle’

Why Electric-Car Charging At Work Matters

Posted in: Green on September 2nd, 2014

For many electric car owners, charging at work is a nice bonus, but not a necessity.

For others, it’s the difference between choosing an electric vehicle, and not doing so–the extra charge at work makes all the difference.

But there’s another reason charging at work is important, and it’s all to do with the electricity grid and the “duck curve”.

Chargepoint founder and CTO CEO Richard Lowenthal explains the duck curve–and the benefits of charging in the “duck’s belly” on Greentech Media.

As we all know, electricity use ebbs and flows.

Households and businesses turn on their lights and computers early in the day, leading to a small energy surge. During the day, use is pretty consistent.

But as the world goes home for the evening, lights, televisions, air conditioners, ovens and other electrical appliances are all used at once, leading to a spike in demand that energy companies must always be prepared for.

Utilities are prepared all day, of course–varying generation according to how much energy is used at peak times.

The trouble is, power stations can’t match output precisely with use–any extra use would catch out the grid and the lights would go out.

Running a power plant at lower loads is often inefficient too–they have to be producing a constant flow of energy to be working efficiently. And ideally, people need to be using this energy.

This is where the “duck curve” comes in.

Developed by the California Independent System Operator, or CAISO, it’s based on the possible future scenario where customer-sited solar panels reduce the demand of grid-sourced electricity to very low levels.

This is most likely on sunny but cool days in the spring and fall, when air conditioner usage is lower than that of mid summer, and households and businesses are drawing less power.

Energy companies would have to reduce generation to avoid producing far more electricity than is used–but still have to crank up the power towards the end of the day when people come home from work and begin using electrical appliances in huge numbers.

This is the “duck’s belly”–a deep curve of reduced generation leading into a steep climb at the end of the day–an inefficient way of generating power.


The duck curve graph shows future energy generation figures as more and more renewable energy is generated during the day–and the disparity between power generation during the day and towards the end of the day grows. The duck’s belly gets deeper.

Workplace charging could fix this scenario, by giving us a flatter duck.

That doesn’t sound great for our aquatic friend, but it’s good for generation.

Should thousands of electric vehicles plug in at work during the day, energy suppliers would need to generate more power during this period.

This reduces the “belly”, in turn reducing the “ramp” towards 8pm, and more consistent generation means greater efficiency.

It costs money to generate power, so generating it more efficiently is much better value for all parties involved–helping reduce costs for the customer.

How quick charging may or may-not be hurting your electric car’s battery life

Posted in: Green on July 24th, 2014



Some electric car makers, notably Nissan with its Leaf, make recommendations that owners don’t charge too frequently using quick-charging stations. The belief is that the chemical processes involved in rapidly charging a battery can lead it to degrade faster than regular charges, reducing range.

But is that really the case? One ongoing experiment in Phoenix, Arizona, suggests it might not be–and that overall mileage could be more important. The Idaho National Laboratory (via Simanaitis Says) is currently evaluating four Nissan Leaf electric cars around a set network of roads in Phoenix.

Two of the cars are being recharged using ‘Level 2’ 220-volt, 40-amp recharging points, while the other two cars enjoy a DC quick charge–typically good for 80 percent capacity in around 30 minutes. Climate control is set to 72 degrees in all four cars, and all cars play by the same rules–when estimated range reaches five miles, the vehicles leave the looping route and return to base.

So far, all the cars have accumulated around 48,000 miles, and some interesting results are emerging.

At 10,000 miles, all four cars had lost around six percent capacity, irrespective of fast charging. By 30,000 miles, some differences could be seen–the Level 2 cars degraded an average 14 percent, three percent less than the fast-charged Leafs.

By 40,000 miles, the difference was still three percent–22 percent degradation for the Level 2 cars, 25 percent for the quick-charging cars. It seems to indicate that there’s not a huge penalty for repeated fast-charging, but total distance does begin to make a difference. Worryingly, in the 40,000 to 48,000-mile interval the average distance covered before reaching 5 miles remaining was just 57.5 miles for the Level 2 pair, 53.6 for the DC cars. At 10,000 miles, all four cars were still capable of over 70 miles between charges.

Testing in winter, Arizona’s high summer temperatures–already responsible for much consternation in the Leaf community–shouldn’t be playing a part either. Both the type of charging and the distance covered are clearly a factor in battery degradation. Idaho National Laboratory’s experiment concludes this month, so we’ll likely find out their full results following a report.

But those concerned that quick charging will ruin their batteries may not need to worry so much–it seems less a factor than how far you’re actually driving.

…And the winner is: Plug-in Electric Car Sales In Canada For March

Posted in: Green on April 14th, 2014


The vehicle industry has been in a lot of turmoil the past few months with recalls here and there. Main while on the plugin vehicle side of things, we have been noticing a gradual but steady increase in sales. This; demonstrated by the Nissan Leaf which has been gaining some noticeable momentum, and the Chevrolet Volt leading for March in plug-in electric-car sales for Canada. (more…)

The Numbers say it all: Milestones reached in Feb 2014 Plug-in Electric Car Sales in Canada

Posted in: Green on March 17th, 2014


While February’s electric vehicle sales in Canada will have easily topped year-ago numbers, the plug-in market still faces headwinds in Canada during 2014.

British Columbia hit a milestone of 1,000 plug-in vehicle sales earlier this year. With 4.4 million people, the province has about the same population as Kentucky and represents one of every six Canadian plug-in sales. (more…)

Government programs and incentives available for Electric vehicles

Posted in: Green on August 27th, 2013

green EVThe Ontario government launched its Electric Vehicle Incentive Program in 2009 with the aim of insuring electric cars will represent one out of every 20 cars on the road by 2020.

The program offers buyers or leasers of new electric cars varied incentives. As of July 1st, 2010, Ontario drivers are eligible to receive $5,000 to $8,500 toward their next purchase or lease of a new plug-in hybrid electric or battery electric vehicle.

The value of the incentive is based on the vehicle’s battery capacity, which ranges from $5,000 for a 4kWh battery to $8,500 for a 17kWh battery. In order to be eligible for the incentive, personal electric vehicles must be registered and plated in Ontario for a minimum of 12 months.

More information can be found by visiting the Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Ontario individuals, businesses, and organizations that purchase or lease a new plug-in hybrid electric or battery electric vehicle after July 1, 2010 may be eligible for a rebate between $5,000 and $8,500.

More Information on this program — source –:

The EV incentive program is open to persons, businesses, municipalities, non-government organizations and non-profit groups. Applicants can receive incentives for no more than five vehicles per calendar year.

Leased vehicles are eligible for an incentive depending on the term of the lease and whether the vehicle is used for personal or fleet purposes. To qualify for the full value of the incentive, a minimum 36-month lease term is required. If vehicles do not meet the specified term requirements, the incentive payment must be repaid in full.

To qualify for the incentive, EVs for personal use must be registered and plated in Ontario for a minimum of 12 months. Fleet vehicles must be registered and plated in Ontario for a minimum of 36 months to qualify for the program.

Eligible electric vehicles purchased in another jurisdiction can qualify for the incentive only if the registration of the vehicle in Ontario is the first time the vehicle has been registered in any jurisdiction. Vehicles that have been registered in other jurisdictions prior to Ontario do not qualify for the incentive.

If vehicles do not meet the residency requirements for the specified term, the incentive payment must be repaid in full.

There are two ways to receive the incentive. The automobile dealer can apply the incentive at the point-of-sale and then submit the incentive application on your behalf. Alternatively, you can purchase the vehicle at full price and apply directly for the incentive by completing the application form and submitting it to the Ontario Ministry of Revenue.

The incentive is applied to the after tax value of the vehicle. In the case of a leased vehicle, the monthly principle amount will reflect the reduced cost of the vehicle.

Download the incentive application form.

Consult the list of eligible vehicles and incentive values

If you are a vehicle manufacturer, download an application to qualify your vehicle for the Electric Vehicle Incentive Program

How much does it cost to replace a battery, and How long does the battery pack last?

Posted in: Green on August 18th, 2013

Most auto manufacturers warranty the battery for 8 years and there are even extended warranties available too.

Because the battery pack is under warranty for 8 years you aren’t likely going to be buying a new battery pack any time soon. Let’s pick a number though, say $15,000 to buy a new battery at current prices, and let’s say in the 9th year, you have to replace the battery. We know 3 things about lithium-ion and other evolving batteries types. Eight years down the road they will be;

i) lighter weight,

ii) have much greater power density,

iii) less expensive.

With the way battery technology is evolving, chances are very good that you will be able to get a battery for 1/3 the present cost and quite likely it will provide triple or greater range and your vehicle will be lighter weight, all providing further opportunities for savings.

Battery Acceptance / Receptivity Rates

Note to EV owners and soon-to-be owners:  Your Vehicle Acceptance Rate will determine what type of EV charging station you will choose to install at your home or business.  Depending on your vehicle’s needs, some stations will be ‘overkill’ and make no difference in the time it takes to charge your vehicle (note the yellow highlights in the chart below).  Other charging stations won’t be enough to charge overnight. SRP Electric will be pleased to assist you in this regard!

Battery Acceptance Examples

battery acceptance

 A)    A Toyota Rav4 EV charging with an LCS-25 charging station with 240V:

Check the Vehicle Acceptance Rate versus the Charging Station Delivery Rate for the LCS-25.  Which is lower?  That will be your limiting factor.  Vehicle Acceptance Rate of the Toyota Rav4 EV is 9.6 kW.  The LCS-25 Delivery Rate is 4.8 kW.  Use 4.8 kW because it is the lower of the two numbers (this is the maximum power the charging station can deliver to the vehicle).
Divide the battery capacity by the lower number from above.  Divide 41.8 kWh by 4.8 kW from above.  The result is 8.71 hours to recharge the battery pack from empty to full.

B)     A Toyota Rav4 EV and a CS-50 charging station with 240V:
Check the Vehicle Acceptance Rate versus the Charging Station Delivery Rate for the CS-50.  Which is lower?  That will be your limiting factor.  Vehicle Acceptance Rate of the Toyota Rav4 is 9.6 kW.  The CS-50 Delivery Rate is 9.6 kW.  Use 9.6 kW because both are the same (it is both the maximum the vehicle will draw and the maximum power the charging station is capable of delivering).
Divide the battery capacity by the lowest number from above.  Divide 41.8 kWh by 9.6 kW from above.  The result is 4.35 hours from empty to full.

How much does an electric vehicle cost?

Posted in: Residential on August 10th, 2013

table_cost_electric_carsNOTE: Data on this image are those for the US but they mirror those offered by the Ontario Government. Please contact us for details  and for clarification.

Aren’t Electric Vehicle’s expensive to buy though?

The cost upfront for an electric vehicle is typically higher than a comparative internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, but that is only looking at part of the picture. The price for an electric car ranges between $20,000 and $200,000 but in certain provinces you can get up to $8,500 back from the provincial government on the purchase of an electric vehicle. In certain provinces, when you buy an EV, you can also save 50% of the cost of a home/workplace charger including the install or up to $1,000, whichever is lesser amount.

Fleet Managers that are responsible for purchasing and maintaining dozens, hundreds or even thousands of vehicles, are very excited about EVs from a cost savings standpoint. Why? Because they understand TCO or Total Cost of Ownership!

TCO = the price of the vehicle + the price of fuel + maintenance costs

On average, people keep their vehicle for 8 years before trading it or selling it. Over this period EVs can really save owners a lot of money because EVs have fewer moving parts to replace and with an all electric vehicle like a Nissan Leaf for example, there are no oil or filter changes. Because of regenerative braking on EVs, the brakes also last much longer – saving you money in the long run.
So the reality is – an EV can be significantly less to own than conventional vehicles.

On Tuesday Tuesday, Jun. 11 2013, ‘The Globe and Mail’ published an article on how electric-car makers are lowering prices in a race to catch Toyota’s Prius.

To summarize the article:

Nissan Canada Inc. offers a lower-priced version of its Leaf when the 2013 model goes on sale. General Motors of Canada Ltd. offered a seven-year, interest-free loans on the Chevrolet Volt in June 2013. Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc. is offering incentives of $5,000 and $8,000 on the two versions of its i-MiEV electric car (NOTE: these sales may still be on or may have expired – check with respective dealers).

The price war comes as new competitors enter what at the moment is a tiny segment of the Canadian market, but one that is expected to grow as auto makers diversify their engine offerings to meet stringent new standards for emissions and fuel economy that will start coming into force in 2017.

Nissan Canada, whose parent Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. has made a multibillion-dollar bet that electric vehicles will be the main alternative to internal combustion-powered cars and trucks, will offer a new, S version of its five-passenger Leaf for $31,698. The SV version, which was the lowest-priced model in 2012 at $38,395, will cost $34,998, a drop of 9 per cent.

The 2013 price includes a quick charger, which was an optional extra on the 2012 SV model. Sales of Leaf models doubled in the first five months of 2013, to 235 from 117 in the same period a year earlier.

Sales of the $42,000 Chevrolet Volt, which is not a pure electric vehicle, slumped 25 per cent in the first five months of the year – to 318 from 421 a year earlier – and plunged 63 per cent in May in Canada

—  Source: ‘The Globe and Mail’ — Published Tuesday, Jun. 11 2013, 7:23 PM EDT —

Since battery packs are more expensive to produce than combustion engines, the upfront cost of purchasing an electric vehicle tends to be substantially higher than that of a traditional gasoline-operated vehicle.

What are the sales numbers?

David W. Rowlison, the Director for National Dealer Development at Sun Country Highway provided us this data and noted:

“Further to recent discussions – here’s some good info on EV numbers in North America. While this mainly addresses USA based numbers, it is as earlier stated widely regarded that on a per capita basis, Canada is actually ahead of the US by about 10-15%… We again suspect it has something to do with the fact that Canadians are more ‘predisposed’ – as they are and always have been with small – more fuel efficient cars in general, to entertaining electric / hybrid vehicles.”


How long does it take to charge an Electric Vehicle, and what is the cost?

Posted in: Green on August 3rd, 2013


The length of time required to charge an electric vehicle depends on the voltage of the outlet or charging point used as well as the size of the vehicle itself. A smaller car can be plugged into a standard 120-volt household outlet, but may take up to 12 hours to charge. A larger vehicle may require an outlet up to 220 volts.

Conversely, if an electric vehicle is plugged into a home or public charging station, it may require as few as two hours to charge the battery completely.

So how long does an EV take to charge up an EV?

There are 3 levels of charging – Level 1, Level 2 and level 3.

Level 1 – Using the 15 amp — 110V household plug:

– Chevy Volt takes about 12.1 Hrs to charge

– Nissan Leaf takes about 18.2 Hrs to charge

– Ford Focus EV takes about 17.4 Hrs to charge

– and the Mitsubishi takes about 12.1 Hrs to charge

Level 2 – Using the >25 amp —  240V delivery rate: 

– Chevy Volt takes about 3.3 Hrs to charge

– Nissan Leaf takes about 5.0 Hrs to charge

– Ford Focus EV takes about 4.8 Hrs to charge

– and the Mitsubishi takes about 3.3 Hrs to charge

The fastest charging is Level 3 or ‘DC Fast Charging’:

This will charge a battery up to 80% in only 25-45 minutes. Soon, you will see many more of these chargers along the 401 and other routes across Canada to compliment our high speed level 2 chargers. However, costs are substantial – these units range between $25,000 and over $100,000.

Why 90 amp Charging Makes Sense:


All this said, what  we need to note is that 80-90% of Charging is done at home or at work and at night. So every day when you get home from work, school, shopping etc, you plug in. The next morning – Voila! You have a full charge and are ready to go. Now you can’t have a gas station at your home, the government won’t let you, but you can have an electric vehicle charging station at home!
In Canada, almost 90% of the population travels less than 60 km per day on their return trip to work. So you never really have to worry about running out of electricity.

acceptance rate


Top image  source

How far can I drive on a single Electric Vehicle charge?

Posted in: Green on July 27th, 2013

distance EVDistance is very important. But you will agree that even conventional cars have limited range too. The only difference which is an added advantage is the abundance of gas stations at specific distances to fuel up.

Data indicate that 80 percent of normal drivers drive less than 60 km a day, which means that charging every night (or every few nights), will get us to work and back with a few errands in between (reference). So for distances above say 100 Km to -– we need some sort of charging infrastructure.

The cruising range of an electric vehicle depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the battery, the model of the car, the road conditions, as well as the way the vehicle is driven.

Poor weather, either extreme heat or cold, can cause battery performance to decrease, resulting in less mileage. Similarly, internal climate control mechanisms such as heating and air conditioning can drain the battery significantly and reduce the distance the car is able to travel between charges.

However, these factors aside, average family-car size vehicles typically range about 100 km per charge.

Back to the question on how far do EV’s go on a charge?

The Ford Focus EV and the Nissan Leaf with bigger battery packs travel up to about 24KM on a single charge, while the Chevy Volt and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV travel lower KMs at 16KM due to smaller battery packs. The Tesla Roadster goes up to 380 kms on a charge while the Tesla Model S Motor Trend Car of the Year goes up to 480 kms. So on the Model S seven seater sedan, you can drive as far as from Toronto to Ottawa on a single charge. Plus it does 0-100 kms/hr in 3.9 seconds! Now a Chevy Volt has a total combined electric and gas range of over 550 kms so there are vehicles for almost every scenario and getting better every day.

Sun Country Highway’s Via Motors / VTrux units however use Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) technology -somewhat similar to a Chevy Volt. These vehicles get 60-65 kms of range in pure electric mode before the on board gas engine and generator kick in to replenish the battery pack and give you a combined electric and gas powered range of ~650 kms. And the best part is you get up to 100 mpg or 1.5lt/100 kms fuel economy.

The important thing to think about is to purchase a vehicle that satisfies 98% of your driving needs. Many people say “but when I want to drive from Toronto to Quebec City what do I do, an EV can’t go that far”? True, a pure electric car may not be practical for very long trips, but how often does the average person take such trips, one, two or maybe three times per year? Within a year, one will be able to find Fast level II or Level III DC Quick Chargers almost everywhere!

Image source


How does an Electric vehicle work?

Posted in: Green on July 20th, 2013


Electric cars can be found every where today, and show up in the news all the time.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) originated in the mid-19th century as electricity had become the most popular method for motor vehicle propulsion. This provided a level of comfort and ease of operation that could not be achieved by the gasoline cars of the time (reference).

The major difference between a gasoline and an EV are:

– The gasoline engine is replaced by an electric motor.
– The electric motor gets its power from a controller.
– The controller gets its power from an array of rechargeable batteries.

All electric vehicles contain the following components:

– Multiple rechargeable batteries
– At least one electric motor
– A controller that connects the motor to the accelerator pedal
– A charging system

The rechargeable battery provides electricity to the motor, which in turn controls the vehicle’s transmission. When the vehicle’s battery needs to be charged, it can be plugged into a standard household outlet (which may take up to 12 hours to charge depending on the outlet voltage), a specialized home charging system, or a public charge station connected to a community power grid.

Check this out!

1) By choosing to buy and EV, you save yourself a lot of money because we already know we can literally drive all the way across Canada for FREE and the cost to charge up is 1/8 that of fuel for a gas powered vehicle. So how much can you save in your local metropolitan area?

2) You helped save the environment and helped reduce healthcare costs!

3) Plus, you further helped sustain the economy on 2 levels – by employing an electrician and ensuring jobs for regional utility workers.

How does it get any better than that?

Well think about not having to pump gas in the freezing cold and how nice it is to leave your house every day with a full charge. There is also no need to search for a gas station without a line-up on route to work in the morning.

Our partnership with Sun Country Highway brings the World’s Longest/Greenest Highway Project to your doorstep. Sun Country Highway now has hundreds of chargers installed across Canada mainly on the Trans-Canada and 400 series Highways, with a goal to have over 1,000 chargers or more in place reaching out to 95% of Canadians.

Image source