Client Overview: City of Kingston
- Client: City of Kingston
- Location: Kingston, Ontario
- Segment: City
- Population: 123,000
- Station Models: CoRe+TM, SmartTWO-BSRTM, SmartDCTM
- Project goals: — Reduce emissions and foster EV adoption
- Drive transit corridor traffic towards city center to support local businesses
- Access Federal Funding to Subsidize the Cost of Deployment
- Deploy Both Level 2 and DC Fast Charging Stations
Situated adjacent to the renowned Thousand Islands archipelago and filled with buildings hewn from local limestone, the City of Kingston makes for a picturesque midway point between the urban centers of Toronto and Montreal. In the spirit of preserving the city’s charming nature, Kingston was one of the first Canadian municipalities to develop a climate action plan, and its current City Council has made demonstrating leadership on climate action a priority. The City has developed a Climate Action Plan which aims to cut greenhouse (GHG) emissions from the community by 30 per cent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. A key element of this work has been the deployment of a comprehensive EV charging network, a project undertaken in partnership with electric vehicle charging manufacturer FLO®. The project, which began in 2017, saw the City of Kingston work with FLO to deploy a total of 48 EV charging stations, broken down as follows:
- 2 SmartDCTM Fast Charging Stations,
- 4 SmartTWO-BSRTM Level 2 Curbside Charging Stations
- 42 CoRe+TM Level 2 Charging Stations, deployed in city buildings and municipal parking lots.
This charging ecosystem, ideal for a city of Kingston’s size, has helped spur EV adoption and position the Canadian municipality as a leader in the transition to a more sustainable mode of transportation.
Where cities and municipalities are eager to deploy EV charging networks, the source (or sources) of funding must always be considered; rarely does a city put forward a budgeted project without some idea of where the funding will emanate from. However, in this instance, the City of Kingston was adamant in being an early adopter of EV charging technology, and a budget and plan was put forward without knowing if grant funding from upper levels of government could be obtained. Ultimately, the City was able to source approximately CAD $800,000 from the City Council to implement their EV Strategy, which included the deployment of an initial run of 46 Level 2 charging stations. Working closely with FLO, who specialize in helping clients navigate provincial and federal funding applications, they were able to access CAD$100,000 through Natural Resources Canada’s Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative. This additional funding was important in allowing the City of Kingston to confidently proceed with the installation of two DC fast charging stations in Kingston’s popular downtown area.
A recent system upgrade saw the department transition to an LED energy system, which resulted in excess available power inside the lighting infrastructure. As part of their commitment to fostering EV adoption inside the city’s limits, the city of Los Angeles aspired to using this excess power to install EV charging infrastructure and combat “range anxiety. In detailing their vision for the project, LABSL articulated a specific set of goals and a unique series of challenges. Early conversations with the utility revealed their intentions for the project to be threefold:
- First, to leverage the department’s existing infrastructure (street lighting poles) for installation, thus reducing the overall cost and timeline for deployment
- Second, to source robust and durable hardware capable of functioning in all the diverse neighborhoods the city of Los Angeles offers
- And finally, to deploy the charging stations in a way that would cover a large geographical range, while servicing the largest percentage of the EV driving community possible.
To address the specific challenges presented by the LABSL, FLO’s team of engineers and technicians had to move quickly to adapt their existing technology to the project at hand. The first step was to analyze the SmartTWO™ charging station, and work to understand how it could be grafted directly into the city’s existing street light infrastructure. Ultimately, FLO worked with the city of Los Angeles to develop a mounting bracket which allowed the stations to be installed on the lighting poles. After several iterations and pilot installations, a bracket was developed which suited the purposes of the initial charging station deployment (See Figure 1). Building on this initial success, FLO’s team of engineers developed additional mounting brackets suitable for a variety of street lighting configurations, and further modified the stations with an auxiliary mounting bracket designed specifically for the cable management system of the SmartTWO™ station.
Durability was a key procurement factor for the city of Los Angeles; specifically, the LABSL was intent on finding charging stations that would remain operable through extreme heat or potential vandalism. Similarly, the modular or “hot swap” element of the SmartTWO™ station, which allows a repair technician to quickly and easily replace broken or malfunctioning components in as little as ten minutes, was also an important factor for the LABSL in choosing FLO as a charging solutions provider. This modular technology assists greatly in maintaining a high station “uptime,” a priority for both EV drivers and station owners.
City of Los Angeles
As part of their “Green New Deal”, the city of Los Angeles has committed to transitioning to a more sustainable model of transportation in the immediate future and they partnered with FLO.