In July, 2020, the Township of Selwyn was awarded federal funding for their pilot project entitled “Promoting a reduction in vehicle fossil-fuel dependency in the Township of Selwyn”. The project involves the lease of a 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) for the Township’s Building and Planning department 2020 vehicle replacement and the installation of a Level 2, 240-volt AddEnergie CoRe + charging station at the Township office, supported through the FLO Network. The charging station will be free of charge for public use between the hours of 8:30am and 4pm, Monday to Friday for a maximum of 2 hours per session, until September 2021. The goal of this project is to promote cleaner transportation options and educate the community on the economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicles.

The Climate Change Action Plan for Selwyn Township includes a Green Fleet Strategy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the corporate fleet and the goal to help transition community vehicles to use cleaner and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting fuel sources. Through this project, the Township will be reducing its GHG emissions associated with the corporate fleet by replacing a fully gasoline-powered vehicle with a hybrid electric vehicle. The Township will also help create the infrastructure to support the shift away from fossil-fuel dependent transportation options with a charging station at the Township office.

The reason for leasing as opposed to purchasing the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is so that the Township’s Building and Planning department can assess whether the vehicle meets their needs, while also reducing fuel costs. A hybrid vehicle is more suitable to the department’s needs because of the distances travelled throughout rural areas where little electric vehicle charging infrastructure is available. The gasoline tank of a hybrid vehicle will serve as an important back-up for safety reasons. So far, the Building and Planning department is very satisfied with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and is able to do the majority of its driving on an electric charge.

The charging station is located at the lower level parking area of the Township office at 1310 Centre Line, mounted to the side of the building. The charger can be accessed by any electric vehicle owner with an RFID card or App. The Township can access usage reports through the Flo Network Web Portal which will be used to track electricity consumption and public use of the charging station. After the pilot period, the charging station will be available at a small fee.

The Township is pleased to have support from the Electric Vehicle Society of Ontario Kawartha Chapter to engage the public around the various benefits of electric vehicles, address questions about electric vehicles, and gather public feedback on barriers to transitioning away from fossil-fuel dependent transportation options. To stay up-to-date on these initiatives check the Township’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and the monthly e-newsletter. The Township thanks Plug N’Drive Canada for their support choosing an appropriate vehicle for the Building and Planning Department and Peterborough Mitsubishi for leasing the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. This project would not be possible from the generous support of federal funders.

-Anna Currier, Township of Selwyn