With electric cars becoming more popular Clarington Municipality wants to inspire more eco-friendly car use in the region.
That’s why they’ve partnered with Trent University in Durham to create a strategy aimed at achieving that goal.
“We’re trying to identify what is the role of our municipality,” says Doran Hoge, Clarington’s Climate Change Response co-ordinator.
Cutting down on emissions has been a challenge across the country, with a number of municipalities trying to figure out how they can pitch in.
Hoge says they want to create a strategy on how they can accommodate the next generation of vehicles and how they can effectively install charging stations around the region.
“We’ve identified the municipality needs to adapt to the change of climate…and one of those areas is related to electric vehicles,” said Hoge.
That’s where Trent University students in the Communications and Critical Thinking course will come in. As part of their capstone project, roughly 20 critical thinkers will put their skills to the test and help the municipality figure out how they can plug-in.
“We will help them figure out ways that the municipality can encourage people to buy zero-emission vehicles,” said Joel Baetz, a lecturer at the school.
Over a nine-month period, students will gather information from surrounding municipalities and stakeholders to help create an electric vehicle (EV) strategy for the area.
“We’ll write a report that will review all the possible options for that strategy and make some recommendations based on electric vehicle ownership that we foresee in the future for Clarington,” says Baetz.
And that need for charging ports can be seen across the country, according to the international energy agency — Canada has 5,800 public charging stations — mostly around cities. That’s with nearly 100,000 cars on the road.
List of charging stations in Canada.
Eric Novack, Co-Founder of the Canadian Green Car Award and an automotive journalist has been driving and reviewing plug-in and hybrid vehicles for the past eight years. He says the strategy is a step in the right direction but he believes municipalities should also work on debunking the myths surrounding the cars.
“We need to really develop a strategy to get past the misconceptions about EVs to get people to rethink EVs and see them as normal,” Novack said.
Electrifying the downtown isn’t the main goal for the municipality. Clarington is in the beginning stages of a climate action plan, which students will also help them with. But with the strategy, they hope to charge ahead.
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