Electric Vehicle Community of Practice

Logo of an electric car

The RRU Electric Vehicle (EV) Community of Practice met for the first time on October 23, 2019, with a small but enthusiastic meeting of EV drivers. In our first meeting, we discussed ways that EV drivers can contribute to the RRU community, ways to maximize the use of existing infrastructure, future needs for expanded infrastructure on campus and EV-awareness/understanding. Our next meeting will be at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday January 14, 2020, in the LIC 3rd floor lounge. BYO lunch and ideas/concerns about EVs on campus.

Here’s a handy list of FAQs about EVs that came from our first discussion:

Why do EV drivers charge at work (and not at home)?

For many users, charging at home gives them enough energy to get to and from work each day. But for some, an occasional (or in some cases daily) top-up is required. Charging our vehicles at work, the grocery store or library is often necessary for us to get home to our families.

What is the range on an EV?

The range of an EV will depend on the make and model, the style of driving (highway vs. city), and environmental factors (e.g. outside temperature). Range on the EVs owned by our members varies from 120 km to 250 km on a full charge. We have members who drive their EVs to RRU from James Bay, View Royal and even Duncan!

Where are the EV charging stations on campus?

RRU has a bank of four EV chargers near the Sherman Jen Building, two across from the Rec Centre and two behind Nixon.

Why do EVs have special parking spots?

Although these spots may look like parking spots, its preferable to think of these as charging stations (for temporary use while charging only), rather than parking spots. EV drivers should only park the car at a charger while actively charging, and when finished, move the vehicle out of the way so that someone else can charge. The need to share the charging stations is increasing more and more members of the RRU community make the transition to plug-in electric vehicles.

What is ‘charge and swap’?

Recently, based on feedback from EV owners, RRU has added space at the Nixon chargers for a 'charge and swap' system. There are two chargers installed, but there was nowhere to leave an EV that was waiting for their turn to charge. By adding two extra charging stalls, drivers can leave their car next to one that is already using the charger, and leave their charging port open. When one driver has finished their charge, they will typically (as a courtesy) plug in the car that's waiting before vacating their spot for the next driver. In this way, we maximize the potential of the existing infrastructure and more charges are available for those that need them.

Who can get involved in the EV community of practice?

Anyone with an interest in EVs is welcome to join, including those who use battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, or are interested in making the transition to an EV.

Lead by CTET team members Eric Bigrigg, Lauren Halcomb-Smith, and Ken Jeffery, the EV community of practice will focus on EV awareness, advocacy and cooperation among EV users. Further, we seek to promote the use of EVs as a means of reducing our environmental impact as a community and to identify and address challenges facing EV users on campus as the province moves towards its 2040 zero emission mandate.

Questions about the EV community of practice can be directed to Ken Jeffery in CTET.