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Surrey: First Major Canadian City to Host Electric Vehicle Charging Station at City Hall

October 26, 2011

Surrey – The City of Surrey is first major city in Canada to host a publically accessible and free-to-use electric vehicle charging station at City Hall. Mayor Dianne Watts and City Council joined with community partners, including BC Hydro and Powertech to open the facility and introduce the City’s first electric vehicle into its fleet.

“It’s important for governments to demonstrate leadership by advancing new technologies and building the transportation infrastructure of the future. We’re proud that Surrey is being recognized across the country as a leader in this regard,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “We are continuing to diversify our green fleet so we can promote and demonstrate new technology.”

The City is piloting the Nissan Leaf, which is 100 per cent electric and produces zero emissions, to assess performance and analyze data including cost savings, environmental impact and effectiveness. The Leaf can drive 160 kilometers at a cost of two dollars per charge, and it’s estimated that it will cost about $300 a year to operate, compared to $2,200 for a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle. The General Electric level two, commercial charging station will be available for the public to use free of charge.

“Electric vehicles can dramatically lower the costs for fleet operators, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. BC Hydro commends the work of the City of Surrey in moving forward with clean energy transportation options. We look forward to working with them as more public charging stations are installed to support the sustainable transportation needs of local residents,” said Greg Reimer, Executive Vice-President, Transmission and Distribution at BC Hydro.

“Powertech congratulates the City of Surrey on their first public EV installation, said Kathy Nguyen, Acting President and CEO at Powertech. “As a clean energy solution provider, Powertech continues to work closely with the City to help them achieve their EnergyShift goals.”

The City has implemented a number of additional green fleet initiatives, including:

  • Surrey is the only municipality in Canada to host two hydrogen fuelling stations
  • The City is operating three zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and four full-size pickup trucks running on a hydrogen powered internal combustion engine
  • City Council passed an innovative new fuel initiative requiring all new service stations to provide at least one alternative fuel source, such as hydrogen, compressed natural gas (CNG), or electric vehicle recharging
  • The City operates Canada’s first CNG municipal waste collection truck
  • The City of Surrey is one of only four cities in the country to receive the prestigious Fleet Gold Rating from the Fraser Basin Council
  • The City continues to move forward with plans to establish an organics biofuel facility that will process residential and commercial kitchen and yard waste into fuel, which would then be used to power vehicles, including the City’s garbage trucks
  • In partnership with SFU’s School of Mechatronics (Surrey campus), the Engineering Department is co-sponsoring a postdoctoral research project, which was initiated in April 2011. It is focused on developing a tool that will help the City better assess the pros and cons of low carbon alternatives to gas and diesel municipal fleet vehicles. It will evaluate the City’s alternative fuel vehicles and compare full life-cycle costs (capital, operational, depreciated costs), environmental pros and cons, operational and logistics benefits, limitations, etc.

“The City is committed to reducing its green house gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, and we recently launched a new EnergyShift program to engage the public to help develop a strategy for how Surrey can further reduce its carbon footprint,” says Councillor Linda Hepner, Chair of the Mayor’s Clean Energy Advisory Network. The goal is to encourage walking, cycling and transit; develop sustainable new buildings; create viable energy infrastructure; and stimulate investment in the clean technology sector.

Surrey’s Economic Investment Action Plan provides incentives for new clean energy companies to locate in Surrey, and the City is in the preliminary stages of developing a Cleantech Commercialization Centre at Campbell Heights, which will provide space and expertise to support demonstration projects, technology testing, and business mentoring.

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor