Burlington Hydro Inc gets a REV 300 ACX from Rapid Electric Vehicles - Click above to watch video after the jump

With the coming of electric vehicles (EVs) into the transportation mix, grids are going to have to become smarter to handle the extra load. Burlington Hydro Inc. (BHI) in Ontario, Canada recognizes this and is stepping into the future with its GridSmartCity initiative. The utility has just taken delivery of a REV 300 ACX, an all-electric Ford Escape from Rapid Electric Vehicles. The acquisition is part of a one year demonstration project in conjunction with the University of Waterloo and will give the utility information about the requirements of EVs and the demands placed upon their system through real-world application as part of BHI's fleet.

In addition to the distinctively-styled SUV, the City of Burlington will also see the installation of charging stations about town. Eaton Corporation is installing its kiosks at all the Pioneer Petroleums locations in the area. Hit the jump for the official press release as well as a nicely-produced video about the project.

[Source: Burlington Hydro Inc. via Green Car Congress]


Dynamic Demonstration Project and Canada's 1st All-Electric Fleet Vehicle Unveiled by Burlington Hydro

City of Burlington Mayor Cam Jackson and Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure for the Province of Ontario head out for the launch drive of Canada's first all electric fleet vehicle.

Burlington, April 21, 2010 - Burlington Hydro Inc. today announced it has taken delivery of the first all-electric vehicle to be used in a commercial fleet application in Canada. The vehicle will be used in a demonstration project, also the first of its kind, that will study the operating characteristics of an all-electric fleet in practical, real-world working conditions.

The demonstration project will be led by Burlington Hydro in a partnership with the University of Waterloo and Transport Canada.

"Congratulations to Burlington Hydro and its partners for their leadership in the development and advancement of smart grid technology in Ontario," said Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. "Ontario is moving towards a smart grid system, which will support the expanded use of electric vehicles. This in turn will help us reach our target of one in 20 vehicles on the province's roads being electric by the year 2020."

"The province of Ontario is leading the world in the development of the emerging Smart Grid, and Burlington Hydro is committed to be the leading distribution utility in Smart Grid development within Ontario," said Gerry Smallegange, President of Burlington Hydro. "Burlington Hydro ultimately aspires to be in a position to offer its customers more solutions and options to manage their electricity use and electricity costs than any local distribution company in Ontario. The electric fleet vehicle demonstration project is part of this leadership commitment."

The use of electric vehicles will ultimately rely on electricity grid infrastructure capable of meeting the needs of vehicle users in a practical, efficient and cost competitive way.

"Local Distribution Companies, such as Burlington Hydro, have an important role to play in the development of the potential for electric vehicles, in the development and provisions of recharging infrastructure, which is the critical "backbone" for the proliferation of electric vehicle technology," said Smallegange.

"Ontario's electricity system is rapidly reducing its carbon footprint, increasing the benefit of switching many more cars and trucks from gasoline to electricity," said Paul Murphy, IESO CEO and President and Chair of the Ontario Smart Grid Forum. "We need to find ways to integrate electric transportation so that it supports the overall reliability of the system and takes advantage of the availability of renewable generation. This project is an important step in understanding how to do this."

The demonstration project will entail a one-year study that will be conducted by the University of Waterloo with funding from Transport Canada. It is designed to increase understanding of the operating characteristics of an all-electric fleet vehicle in practical, working applications, including its recharging patterns and requirements, how to optimize the usage and recharging cycle in a "real life" setting; overall performance, drive-cycle, battery state-of-health and electricity grid impacts.

The motor and drive system technology of the vehicle was developed specifically for fleet applications by REV, or Rapid Electric Vehicle Technologies Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia. REV is a market-leading international private company that offers the REV PACK, used to convert light-duty Ford trucks into advanced battery powered highway-capable electric vehicles. REV will also provide on-board smart-grid and wireless telemetry capabilities, integrated data management and charging infrastructure.

The University of Waterloo will also develop assessment and management tools to assist with the integration of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV's) into the electricity grid. The study will be supervised by Roydon Fraser, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Michael Fowler, Associate professor of Chemical Engineering, over the period commencing February 2010 and ending February 2011. The findings of this study will be useful to designers and prospective operators of electrified fleet vehicles.

Burlington Hydro believes "hub and spoke" fleets, like the one operated by Burlington Hydro potentially represent the best opportunity for initial widespread vehicle electrification. Hub and spoke fleets typically operate from a central point and deploy vehicles within a fixed region, or geographic boundaries, with predictable usage patterns. They are therefore ideal in respect to the opportunity to centralize re-charging infrastructure. The electric vehicle will join Burlington's hub and spoke fleet for the duration of the demonstration project.

"There are thousands of fleets of this kind in southern Ontario alone. Fleets like these represent a significant proportion of vehicles on our roads, most of which are in daily, constant use. They include couriers, mail and other delivery vehicles, municipal vehicles and many other kinds of fleets.

Therefore, using electric vehicles in these fleets could deliver major, immediate environmental benefits. This demonstration project is an important first step in unlocking that potential," said Smallegange. Transportation accounted for more than half the growth in Ontario's greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2005, contributing 17 Megatonnes, out of 26 Megatonnes of total GHG emissions growth. It is also a significant contributor to smog in southern Ontario.

Burlington Hydro has attracted a number of industry, government and university partners to this first-of-its-kind demonstration project. Pioneer Petroleums, Ontario's largest independent petroleum marketer will install and operate a recharging station at its Burlington location at 4499 Mainway.

The charging station was developed by Eaton Corporation, which is also providing electrical infrastructure and systems support. Elster Canada, a leader in Smart Metering, will assist by facilitating key learnings through its EnergyAxis technology. Other partners include: Union Gas, S&C Electric, Olameter, Stresscrete Group, Moloney Electric, Wesco Distribution Canada, Cisco, The Province of Ontario, the City of Burlington, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), the University of Waterloo and the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University.

About Burlington Hydro
Burlington Hydro Inc., established in 1945 as the Burlington Public Utilities Commission, is an energy services based company in the power distribution business. The company serves over 58,500 residential customers, and approximately 5,500 commercial and industrial customers.
Burlington Hydro maintains 32 substations and almost 1,300 kilometers of low voltage distribution lines throughout the municipality of Burlington. The company employs 95 people at its facility on Brant Street

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