Federal initiative seeks proposals for funding for EV charging in MURBs, workplaces and for fleets
Feb 13, 2020
Luke Sarabia

The request is part of the federal government’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, and requires applicants match 50 per cent of funding, projects have minimum of 20 chargers

NRCan’s RFP seeks proposals for funding for EV charging for workplaces, multi unit residential buildings and fleets

The request is part of the federal government’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, and requires applicants match 50 per cent of funding, projects have minimum of 20 chargers

Natural Resources Canada has launched a request for proposals (RFP) under its Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP), which provides funding for electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refuelling projects across the country.  

The RFP calls for proposals to build chargers at workplaces and multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs), and for light-duty vehicle fleets. It is accepting applications until May 12th.

NRCan will fund up to 50 per cent of the cost of successful proposals, up to a maximum of $5,000,000 per project. Funding will be available for Level 2 and fast chargers, as well as hydrogen refuelling stations.

Charging sites must be located in Canada in order to be eligible for funding. They must be permanent installations of new equipment, rather than replacements for existing installations.

Minimum number of chargers

Project proposals must also include a minimum of 20 EV chargers for installation in one location; each Level 2 connector is to be counted as a distinct charger. Proprietary chargers such as Tesla’s may account for up to 75 per cent of proposed installations, but a minimum of 25 per cent must be universal charging connectors, such J1772, or CHAdeMO.

Applicants must demonstrate that they are able to secure 50 per cent of the funding required for the project, and that they have the proper authority to install such infrastructure on the land. In cases where the electrical load will be increased by 50 kW, the utility must have been made aware of the project.

The ZEVIP program is funded with $130 million from the federal government over five years between 2019 and 2024. This fund has also partially financed projects including Canadian Tire’s cross-country charging network, which received $2.7 million towards the construction of charging stations at 90 of its retail locations by the end of 2020.

The request for proposals is the second to be issued by NRCan as part of its ZEVIP. The first, which aimed to develop chargers on streets and in other public places, closed in November 2019.

Work, MURB charging is key

Well-distributed EV charging infrastructure has been shown to increase the rate of electric vehicle adoption across both rural and urban areas. If chargers are widespread and easily accessible, anxiety over the range of EVs becomes less prevalent and adoption is likely to increase.

In addition to public charging, however, the proliferation of EV chargers at workplaces and MURBs is a crucial step forward for electrification in Canada. Approximately 28 per cent of Canadian residences are apartment buildings, and 10 per cent are buildings with five or more stories. NRCan’s funding is likely to encourage many otherwise hesitant owners of large buildings to add EV chargers to their parking lots, erasing a significant barrier towards EV ownership for a large segment of Canada’s population.

Many Canadians, however, live in buildings in which electric vehicle charging is impossible, either because their building lacks the electrical capacity to support multiple Level 2 chargers or lacks garage or driveway areas in which charging can take place. For many of these “garage orphans”, workplace charging presents a relatively simple solution.

In both instances, funding of charging infrastructure quickly and effectively erases barriers to EV ownership, making adoption suddenly much more plausible for more Canadians.

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