The Newsletter of Electric Vehicle Society

June 2020

Presidential Thoughts

Are EVs really surging?

Yes, they are. In spite of current events, EV sales continue to gain momentum in Canada and around the world. The COVID-19-inspired break in “things as usual” has given us a glimpse of a cleaner world and a healthier lifestyle. We have an opportunity to use this “silver lining” of a very dark cloud to promote a better, healthier, and happier future, but we have to adjust our thinking and our efforts to get things done within this new reality.

That’s exactly what EV Society is doing.

With summer just a few weeks away, this is usually the time when we’re out meeting neighbours and fellow Canadians to share our passion about EVs. Since that’s not possible right now, EV Society has found new ways to connect and continue building a stronger, healthier, and more resilient community for everyone. It’s been a couple of months since our last newsletter, and we have used that time to retool EV Society for the current COVID-generated reality.

These efforts have been very successful. It’s exciting to watch the Canadian EV community of owners, Chapters, and Affiliate groups building stronger bonds through online tools including the EVS meeting room and regional discussion forums.

Electrifying and modernising our transportation system is an essential element in ushering in a cleaner, healthier, sustainable environment. With your continued help and support we will make that happen!


A Word from the Editor

What's in a name?

Welcome to EV Surge, the official newsletter of EVS!

As you can see, we have revamped and reorganized things.  We have renamed it, too.  EV Surge is the name of the original newsletter which EVS produced several years ago.  That printed publication served the organisation well, and we want the refreshed online version to do the same thing for many years to come. 

Who helped?

The changes in our newsletter and all the rest of the new communication initiatives and changes at EVS required a lot of effort by a host of talented, generous, and hardworking people, all of them volunteers.  Their work has allowed our many plans to bear fruit and our gratitude for their efforts is boundless. 

If you are interested in joining the host of talented people who are making things happen at EVS, check out our Volunteer Opportunities section below.

Got ideas?

If you have suggestions for improving EV Surge, or if you want to submit an article for publication, please contact us.

You DO NOT have to be a writer to contribute to EV Surge.

If you have an idea for a story, tell us what is it.

Do you know someone with an interesting story that we can interview? Send us the info and we will follow up.

Do you have suggestions for improving EV Surge? Send them in and we will consider them.

Like to write?

Great! Check out the Submission Guidelines below and start typing!

Again, welcome to EV Surge. Enjoy!

Bill Bruesch, Editor

Talk to us!

Submission Guidelines

Our Purpose – EV Surge is a tool to disburse information about news, events, policies and predictions about electrified transportation in a clear, concise and easily accessible and readable form.

Our Audience – Our readers run the gamut from novice to expert, enthusiasts to the merely curious, every age and with a broad range of interests, experiences and agendas. Keep that fact in mind as you write and try to write for everyone.

Use the K.I.S.S principle – Get to the point. Be direct and concise. Clarity and brevity will improve communication.

Avoid or explain jargon and technical language.

Always credit your sources. Whenever possible, provide links to sources and references.

Avoid controversy and extreme positions (political or otherwise).

Separate FACT from OPINION – Support your facts with references. Check and verify your sources. Whenever it is possible, add links to sources and references.

Volunteer Opportunities

EVS is looking for an experienced Bookkeeper to assist in managing our  accounting requirements. Confidentiality, organizational skills and accuracy are the key qualifications. If you are interested, please contact:

Free Webinars

Canada Talks Electric Vehicles is an exciting new series of free webinars that address the many facets of electrified transportation in an engaging, informative and entertaining format. They feature guest presenters with a variety of backgrounds in business, industry, academia, and more. Their unique insights and extensive experience make these webinars a unique and valuable asset for our members and guests.

The next episode will take place Tuesday July 7th, at 7:30 EST. Our guest speaker will be Suzanne Goldberg, Canadian Public Policy Director, ChargePoint, Inc.  Registration for the free event will available soon.

-Tim Burrows

Missauga Chapter & Webinar Lead, EVS


Presidential Thoughts

A Word from the Editor

Submission Guidelines

Volunteer Opportunities

Free Webinars

EV Industry News

Chapter Notes

Across Canada -Our Affiliates


Coming Soon

Our Affiliates

Corporate Members

EV Industry News - Susanne Welsh

VW ID3 Stores and the $40,000 VW ID4 electric crossover is already in production

ID4 - VW released some details about the vehicle like a range of “up to 500 km” (310 miles) — though that’s WLTP and the real-world range is expected to be a little shorter.

The German automaker also confirmed that the ID4 is going to be VW’s first global next-generation EV based on the MEB platform.

The ID3 is VW’s first EV based on the new MEB platform for electric vehicles, but the vehicle is not scheduled to be launched in North America. For the ID.4, VW promises that the vehicle is going to be available in a lot more markets:  Europe, China and the US. It is said to be the size of a Model Y.

ID Store

Tesla has “galleries.” Polestar has “spaces” and Byton will set up “places.” An automaker can’t sell an EV apparently unless it has a hip, boutique retail environment to show it off. The latest is Volkswagen, which opened its first “ID store” in Dresden.

The store’s launch is strong evidence that marketing efforts are underway, and the long-awaited ID3 EV will arrive for a June 17 market introduction. That’s when reservation holders in Germany can place an official order.

The first ID Store opened in the Transparent Factory in Dresden. The Transparent Factory is the VW-owned car factory and exhibition space that started in 2002. It’s where Volkswagen has been producing the electric version of the Golf. Visitors to the location have been able to take 30-minute test drives of the E-Golf and learn about the company’s electric technology.

VW is now taking that show on the road. ID Stores in various locations will enable consumers to experience multimedia and interactive programs about VW EVs. Test drives will be available after the official launch. If car buyers like what they see, they can then configure their orders for the ID3 and select a desired retail location for a pick-up.

The next ID Store will launch in a Munich factory district in July. There are also plans for a future store in Zwickau, where the ID3 is manufactured. Buyers in Zwickau might be able to watch their car roll off the assembly line.

Mobile charging solutions can help fight the new face of range anxiety

Will electric-car drivers be able to find a way to charge up when their day—or their route—doesn’t go exactly according to plan?

It’s a common concern for those new to electric cars, and a pivotal question that could have a dramatic effect on technology adoption and the public’s impression of EVs. And really, it's the new face of range anxiety—oriented more around a failure from infrastructure than from a car that won't hold true. Although there might be adequate infrastructure when everything is up and running, there needs to be a backup plan to help connect the dots on the map when the circuit breaks.

It appears that investors agree. Both SparkCharge and FreeWire, two companies representing some very good “backup plan” ideas for battery-based mobile charging recently reported fresh surges of funding.

FreeWire efforts initially grew around the Mobi EV charger—a Level 2 charger on wheels—plus the Boost Charger, a DC fast charger unit that employs a battery buffer to work with existing infrastructure and costs 40% less to install than typical fast chargers.

SparkCharge’s modular fast-charging system incorporates a battery module with 3.5 kilowatt-hours (3.2 kwh usable) of 18650-format cylindrical cells. Those modules can stack for more capacity, and the system is capable of providing up to 20 kw of continuous power, allowing a maximum current of 40 amps and a maximum voltage of 500V. Broadly speaking, it says its hardware can provide a mile per minute of charging.

The company explained to Green Car Reports last year that it sees solutions for the technology in roadside assistance, concierge services, or in a form not unlike a pizza delivery, where via an app you could call up an on-demand charge at a specific time and place to give you the boost you need—while you have dinner at an out-of-the-way place, for instance. Or, perhaps, those who might normally charge at work might have a charge delivered to their vehicle at an apartment or condo that lacks charging possibilities.

First Cobalt plans first North American cobalt refinery for EV batteries

Toronto-based First Cobalt said today it would become North America’s first producer of cobalt sulphate, which is crucial for EV batteries. By the end of next year, its Ontario refinery could produce enough cobalt for at least 335,000 electric vehicles by the end of next year.

The move comes as car companies are trying to reduce reliance on cobalt. Tesla and General Motors are both reportedly working to develop no-cobalt batteries. The establishment of a shorter cobalt supply chain in North America reveals that, despite these efforts, there will be an ongoing dependence on cobalt for EV batteries. Cobalt extends the life of lithium-ion batteries while minimizing the risk of overheating.

I was initially excited about this until I read that the feedstock for the First Cobalt refinery would be cobalt hydroxide produced by mining giant Glencore in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). More than 60% of the world’s cobalt comes from the DRC, which is one of the globe’s poorest countries. The use of child labour for cobalt-mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a major ethical concern.

But cost, rather than ethics, could be the major driver for changing the cobalt supply chain. Battery specialists from BMW estimate that 80% of the total battery pack cost comes from the materials used for the cells, and only 20% comes from the manufacturing process, and everything else needed to make them.

Trent Mell, First Cobalt chief executive, said:

The outlook for electric vehicles and the push by automakers to develop shorter supply chains creates an excellent opportunity. With most of the world’s cobalt refining capacity located in China, there is strong demand for a North American alternative. Our focus will now turn to working with Glencore, our strategic partner, on implementing a new, ethical and transparent supply chain.

I’m interested to know how they will make it ethical.

CHAdeMO and China release new EV quick-charging standard in a bid to leapfrog the industry

The stage is being set of the next global battle of DC-charging capabilities. For the past few years, CCS seemed to dominate with CHAdeMO in decline.
But the 3.0 version of CHAdeMO uses a lighter, sleeker connector, has 500-kW capability, and features bi-directionality.

Add those advantages and the alignment of CHAdeMO with China, the world’s largest EV market, and we could see a change to the balance of EV charging protocols.

On April 24, the CHAdeMO Association released the 3.0 version of its charging protocol. It was co-developed by the China Electricity Council, setting up a global battle of EV quick-charging protocols between a Japan-China alliance and automakers in Europe and the US that use the CCS standard.

What do we know about the just-released CHAdeMO 3.0 standard? Its features include:

    • A connector that’s light and compact with a smaller diameter cable
    • Brand-new, identical plug with GB/T protocols
    • DC charging with power over 500kW (maximum current 600A)
    • Liquid-cooling technology
    • Locking/unlocking mechanism from the connector
    • Backward compatibility of the CHAdeMO 3.0-compliant vehicles with the existing DC fast charging standards (CHAdeMO, GB/T, and possibly CCS). Presumably, there will be adapters for Tesla vehicles.
    • Let’s not forget that CHAdeMO was designed with bi-directional charging as a core feature. The CCS standard is at least a few years behind in adding two-way capabilities.
    • Bidirectional charging will be a breakthrough for the integration of EV charging, home power, and managing grid services. It allows not only the charging of EV batteries but also the ability to take energy from the car and push it back to the power grid.

Japanese versions of the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander, which use the CHAdeMo standard, are the only vehicles today that have the bi-directional capability. Last month, Nissan displayed a system that uses vehicle-to-grid technology to allow the Leaf to power a 7/11 store.

The testing requirements for CHAdeMO 3.0 specification are expected to be issued within a year.

First quarter of automotive sales impacted by COVID-19 see a slight drop in EV sales numbers, notable increase in their total market share

(This information is from an article by Electric Autonomy Canada.)

Automotive sales in Canada in the first quarter of 2020 have seen a marked decline from their typical numbers, a fact that can be attributed to the large-scale disruption imposed by COVID-19 on international supply chains and would-be purchasers. Despite that fact, electric vehicles continue to occupy a growing share of Canada’s total light vehicle market.

Between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020, EV sales in Canada declined by 39 per cent while total vehicle sales faced a steeper drop of 47 per cent.

According to new vehicle registration data, 8,412 battery-electric and 3,586 plug-in hybrid vehicles were sold between January 1 and March 31 of 2020. Those 11,998 vehicles represent 3.8 per cent of total light vehicles sold in Q1 2020, up from the 3% of total vehicle sales in Q4 2019, despite social distancing and other major business disruptions.

The fact that only 238 fewer EVs were sold is significant: Even though the number of Canadians committed to buying cars of any kind has shrunk, interest in electric vehicles remains resilient. 

Barrie-Orillia Chapter

The resilience, flexibility, and outright determination that the Canadian people are capable of showing during times of adversity always amazes me.  Canadians everywhere are stepping up the challenge of these troubled times by utilizing the various on-line platforms to the fullest, and in the process, proving that we can carry on despite the challenges posed by the most restrictive lockdown in modern history.

On Thursday May 14th, 2020 the Barrie-Orillia Chapter (Ontario) had the good fortune of hosting an on-line Zoom meeting that featured a guest speaker, Haakon MacCallum from the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association (VEVA in British Columbia).  While chapter meetings featuring guest speakers are not new, this one was different because our speaker attended from the other side of the country, along with other members of VEVA to share their Association’s experience owning and maintaining a 108 year of piece of history, a 1912 Detroit Electric.  He wanted to tell us a little bit about the history of EVs in general and then a little bit about the history of their car.

Despite being 108 years old, the car is still in operating condition with original parts.  The original Thomas Edison nickel iron batteries did have to be replaced – after lasting 88 years!  Today it is fitted with a replica set of nickel iron batteries and a rebuilt speed controller and pneumatic tires (the original tires were solid rubber!) and has a range of close to 100 miles. While not being used for EV meets it sits on display at the Stave Falls BC Hydro Powerhouse Museum.

In contrast and blending a bit of the new with the old, Keith Beckley from the Barrie-Orillia EVS chapter updated the 19 participants who were on the call with what was new 112 years later in battery technology.  EVs have come a long way considering the Detroit had a tiller instead of a steering wheel – and no seatbelts, just a strap to hang onto when you go into those sharp turns!

If you would like to read more about the car go to and if you wish to donate to their Restoration Fund email them at  We hope to have Haakon speak at other EVS meetings and we thank both him and the other members of VEVA for making this meeting a success, and in the process, proving that we can still come together – on-line and from across the country.

-Dave VanAlstyne

Kawartha Chapter

Before there even was a Kawartha Chapter of EVS, future members actively supported the Electric City EV Meet at the Purple Onion Festival held every September at Peterborough’s beautiful Millennium Park. Sadly, after five years of successful events, the covid-19 pandemic has cancelled this year’s meet.

That fact really bothered Kawartha member Graeme Marrs. He rejected the idea that this virus could blow all the wind out of years of effort.

Graeme was not ready to give up on the event and came up with an enjoyable and safe alternative: an EV meet car show by tour! Participants would park their EVs at various locations on the day of the event. There would be no need to babysit your car. At the appropriate time you would just park your EV at the edge of your driveway or the corner of a parking lot of your choosing. Every car would feature an information sheet, visible from outside the vehicle. Social distancing rules would be scrupulously observed.

The event would be widely promoted online and open to everybody. Visitors looking for more information would find a description of each car and perhaps links to a tour guided by EV Society members. The times and locations would be provided as well as links to other resources, including an invitation to join the EV Society.

Will the Electric City Touchless Tour EV Meet work? There’s more work to be done, but the idea sounds like a winner.

Stay tuned!

Driving for Change:
The Comox Valley Electric Vehicle Association (CVEVA)

Comox Valley, on the east coast of beautiful Vancouver Island, B.C., is the home of one of Canada’s growing number of active, enthusiastic EV owners’ groups, the Comox Valley Electric Vehicle Association (CVEVA).

Late in 2018, Randy Chatterjee, Co-founder of the organization, was at Canada’s most westerly Tesla Supercharger in Nanaimo, where he and fellow EV owner Christine van den Meersche were discussing their shared belief in EVs game changing technology.  They discussed ways to help make EVs ubiquitous, the sooner the better!
In May 2019, less than six months after their chat, they had joined forces with a local non-profit, Watershed Sentinel, the Comox Valley Nurses for Health and the Environment, and the BC-wide advocacy group Emotiv to hold the first EV Show’n’Shine event.
On that Saturday morning, at a site near the area’s local farmers’ market, a dozen EVs, a fleet of e-bikes, dealers offering test rides, a food wagon and a big tent for hourly presentations were ready for what was hoped to be a crowd of perhaps 300 visitors.
During the five hours of the event over 1400 people showed up, filled with curiosity and asking countless questions.  Eager guests flocked to presentations on EV purchase incentives, the used EV market, home charging, battery life and long-distance EV travel.
There were also EV owners, neighbours and fellow enthusiasts that they had not met before, and curious folks who wandered over from the farmers’ market.
Over the next few months CVEVA meetings increased to every other week. Attendees regularly showed up with new (or used) EVs, recently purchased. At the next EV Show’n’Shine in September, over 40 members were there, eager to extol the virtues of their newly-acquired EVs. The popularity of e-bikes and e-scooters had also exploded.  Vancouver Island’s 2019 new car sales were 9.9% BEVs, the highest market share in North America
Recently, Chatterjee had an opportunity to give a presentation on EVs to his local government, focusing on the need for the government to support the conversion to electrified transportation. He emphasized three areas where electrified transportation has a huge positive impact:

Air Quality – Comox Valley has an air quality problem: a temperature inversion layer that holds ozone, a dangerous product of burning fossil fuel, close to the ground where it hurts people and impairs the growth of plants in one of Canada’s most productive agricultural regions.

 Climate change – Cars in BC account for more than 40% of the carbon footprint of its citizens.  Switching from fossil-fueled to all-electric driving reduces a driver’s personal emissions by about 30%, exactly what Canada has promised to do by 2030.  Driving an EV makes its owner personally compliant with the Paris Treaty.
Economic Development – The 65 thousand people who call Comox Valley their home spend $70 million a year on fossil fuel. Ninety percent of that money leaves the Valley, most of it leaving Canada forever. The “fuel” for EVs is produced locally, in BC, and the revenue stays there.

There is much more to owning an EV than just a great driving experience.

As EV Surge evolves and grows, we will be adding new features and new topics. Here are some of the features you will find in upcoming issues:

It's Not Just the Cars!

Personal EVs are great, but they are only part of the story of electric transportation.  In future issues of EV Surge we will be exploring a wide range of other electric vehicles in the following categories:

Personal EVs - Bikes, scooters and more are changing the way people get around in cities and yowns.

Commercial EVs - Transport trucks, delivery vehicles, heavy equipment. Some of the most powerful vehicles on our roads and job sites already rely on electric motors.

Transit - Buses, light rail, trains.- Stories about how electricity is improving the ways in which people and goods get where their going.

Aircraft - More and more companies developing the planes, large and small, private and commercial,  that soon will be carrying us to our destinations.

Ships and boats - Watercraft in, on, under and sometimes a little bit above the waves have been around for a long time. The story is a big part of the changing transportation scene.

EV EVents

Things are always happening in the fast-changing world of electrified transportation. EV EVents is where you will hear about them

EVs in the News

Interesting, informative, unique and sometimes quirky stories involving EVs turn up from time to time. We will highlight some of those stories and pass them on to our readers.

EVs in History

We know that EVs have been around for a long time, far longer than most people realize. Stories from the past about electric transportation, clean energy and other topics close to the hearts of EV enthusiasts can be found in many places, some of them quite unexpected. When we find something from the past that we feel is significant, we will pass it on.

Job Opportunities

We will make our readers aware of career opportunities that are being created every day by the paradigm shifts in transportation, energy and many other fields.

WE Need YOU!

For EV Surge to become the valuable resource we know it can be, we need your help. Your comments, suggestions and criticisms will help to keep us on track and in focus. Here are some things you can do to contribute to our success:

- Submit stories - Like to write? Have something to report? Submit a story, article or feature (see Submission Guidelines above). Photos add a lot to a story, so send them along, too!

- Send us a lead - Don't want to write? That's OK. Just drop us a note about a potential story (with contacts and  some details when possible) and we will follow up on it.

- Tell us your ideas - Are there things you would like to see included in EV Surge? We want to hear your ideas and suggestions, so please pass them on.

Stay in touch with EV Society events and news.