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PowerStream and Ford support EV charging research at Georgian College


June 2, 2013
By Anthony Capkun

June 1, 2013 – Georgian College students and faculty will initiate research on power use, quality, consumption and costing for electric vehicles (EVs) thanks to a “first-of-its-kind” charging station supported by PowerStream and Ford Motor Company of Canada.

“Our goal is to contribute to research and analysis of the utilization of electric vehicles on the power grid but, most importantly, to prepare our students for work in the electrical and sustainable technology sectors,” said MaryLynn West-Moynes, president and CEO, Georgian College.

The solar power-assisted station has the ability to collect research data, and the capacity to offer Level 1, 2 and 3 vehicle charging to the public. Level 2 is available now, and plans to install a Level 3 charger are underway. With Level 2 charging, a pure electric vehicle can charge from empty to full power in about eight hours. With Level 3, that time is reduced to less than an hour.

“The results and data the college will gather from this project will assist us in preparing our grid to handle the charging requirements of electric vehicles as their use becomes more common in the marketplace,” said Brian Bentz, PowerStream president and CEO.

PowerStream has invested $250,000 in this station that Electrical and other Engineering students will use to analyze the impact and opportunities that EVs create for electric utilities and society at large. The students’ research will also include recommendations on how best to manage vehicle charging patterns to optimize electricity use patterns and the electricity distribution system.

Ford of Canada has donated leases for a C-MAX Energi and a Focus Electric to be driven to collect the data for analysis, as well as two charging units.

Through this station, Georgian’s Electrical and Environmental programs, as well as the Automotive Business School of Canada, are collaborating to advance sustainable technologies. Students will have hands-on learning opportunities “to become leaders in the integration of electric vehicles, renewable energy and smart grid technology”.

The solar power-assisted EV charging station was unveiled at the college’s Barrie Campus prior to the start of the 28th annual Georgian College Auto Show. Launch participants included Georgian’s MaryLynn West-Moynes, Brian Bentz, Ford of Canada president Dianne Craig and City of Barrie mayor Jeff Lehman.