City of Richmond goes greener with two innovative electric vehicle initiatives
12 December 2022
Furthering its goal of achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the City of Richmond has unveiled two innovative electric vehicle (EV) initiatives.
The City has added two fully electric cargo vans to its fleet, which already has one of the highest levels of non-combustion engine vehicles among regional municipalities. It has also installed Richmond’s first solar powered EV charging station, adding a new dimension to clean energy sources and climate sustainability.
“Council remains committed to exploring new sustainable technologies and these are just two examples of how Richmond is leading the way in the area of climate action,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “The City is continually looking for innovative ways to encourage electric vehicle use and provide the low-impact charging options necessary to support them as EV demand increases.”
The two 2022 Ford E-Transit cargo vans are the first such vehicles in the City’s fleet and replace two similar gas-powered vans that are both around 20 years old. The 266 horsepower vehicles are equipped with a 67kWh battery, giving an estimated range of 200 kilometres with zero tailpipe emissions. Their purchase also aligns with the City’s commitment to the West Coast Electric Fleets Pledge, which aims to replace at least 10 per cent of annual replacements for fleet passenger vehicles and light duty trucks with zero emissions vehicles.
Because the EV vans have batteries mounted beneath the floor, they offer enhanced cargo space that makes them ideally suited to support the work of engineering inspectors, utility installations and bylaw enforcement related to construction.
Fully electric vehicles require no gas and little to no maintenance (such as routine oil changes), so the overall cost of ownership is significantly lower than a gas-powered van. According to one manufacturer, maintenance costs are 40 per cent lower than an identical gas-powered version over an eight-year or 160,000-kilometre period.
The EV charging station at Richmond’s Garry Point Park offers a solar-powered alternative for EV owners. Designed to track the sun, the Level 2 charger has a 40kW back up battery and is located in an area that enables maximum solar exposure. It also has additional electrical plugs for charging E-bikes, E-scooters or any devices using 110 Volt output.
Because the solar-powered EV charger is a new concept within the City, charging will be free for the time being, as staff assess its performance. The City currently has 57 public EV charging stations throughout Richmond. Information on charging rates at City owned stations and their locations can be found on the City website (richmond.ca/ev).
Both initiatives align with the City’s Community Energy & Emissions Plan, as well as its Green Fleet Action Plan, which encourage the adoption of new technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
Richmond was also named recently as the only municipal recipient of a Platinum Rating by the national E3 Fleet program, an initiative that assists trucking, utility, urban delivery, courier, government and other fleets to improve their fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, manage expenses and incorporate new technologies.