Downtown Toronto was flooded with car enthusiasts, as the Canadian International Auto Show opened with a record 21,385 guests in attendance. This year’s theme, The New Movement, showcased the evolution of automobiles in the face of rapid advancements in infrastructure and technologies.
Plug’n Drive, a non-profit organization that promotes electric vehicles (EVs), brought this theme to life by hosting test drives, a popular attraction that ran the full 10 days of the Auto Show. Plug’n Drive is gaining momentum, thanks, in part, to its partnerships with local utility companies. The organization is working closely with local distribution companies (LDCs) to make EVs more accessible to consumers across Ontario.
One exciting example is Plug’n Drive’s partnership with Burlington Hydro. The utility recently hosted similar EV roadshows at its public open houses. These events promoted the benefits of EVs to customers, as part of the company’s commitment to increase the adoption of EVs and charging stations.
Plug’n Drive’s mandate dovetails with many ongoing activities at Burlington Hydro, such as:
- The Single Detached Residential Electric Vehicle Charging Management program, designed to help homeowners control costs associated with charging their vehicles and to protect distribution system assets from excessive peak loading.
- The Multi-Residential Electric Vehicle Charging Management program, designed to ensure multiple electric vehicles are charged within a confined garage area without overloading the electrical system of the building.
- Pending application for Work Place Electric Vehicle charging funds, which will see the City of Burlington, Burlington Electricity Services and Burlington Hydro work together to secure potential sites.
Plug’n Drive has also made specific advancements towards electric vehicle and charging infrastructure adoption. The organization has partnered with 12 LDCs to create an online marketplace for customers to choose and purchase EV charging stations, with competitive pricing. Through the purchase process, Plug’n Drive staff provide guidance and support to ensure customers are well informed, understand the features of different models and select the right system for their needs. Once a purchase is complete, partner LDCs receive reports identifying the locations of the new charging stations in their area based on a formal customer permission-based system.