Natural Resources Canada to Provide Significant Funding for Initiative to Boost Electric Vehicle Adoption Under Canadian Energy Innovation Program
TORONTO, DALLAS and YVERDON LES BAINS, Switzerland, July 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Canada's electric vehicle industry is about to receive a major boost with the announcement of an agreement between eCAMION, based in Toronto, Dallas-based Leclanché North America, part of Switzerland's Leclanché SA (SIX: LECN) and SGEM based in Geneva, to develop and install a network of 34 fast-charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH).
The project, designed to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Canada, entails an investment of CAD $17.3 million (USD $13.6 million) and is being partially funded by a CAD $8.0 million (USD $6.2 million) repayable contribution from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) under the Canadian Energy Innovation Program.
This public private initiative will be supported by an investment from eCAMION, Leclanché and SGEM.
"Canada recognizes the key role electric vehicles will play in reducing emissions from the transportation sector," said Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. "With more electric vehicles becoming available, we want to make them an easy choice for Canadians. This strategic investment brings us closer to having a national coast-to-coast network of electric vehicle charging stations while growing our economy and creating good jobs for Canada's middle-class."
FAST Charge Joint Venture Created to Manage EV Project
eCAMION and Leclanché have formed a Toronto-based joint venture, named FAST Charge™ Inc., to manage the TCH project and further expand the implementation of EV charging systems across North America. Bryan Urban, EVP of Leclanché North America, will serve as president and Himanshu Sudan CFO of eCAMION will serve as CEO of the joint venture.
eCAMION is a privately-held provider of modular, smart energy storage solutions that find innovative use in community storage, EV charging, auxiliary power units, storage for renewable energy projects as well as in custom applications.
Leclanché is one of the world's leading, vertically integrated, energy storage solution providers. It delivers a wide range of energy storage solutions for homes, small offices, industry, electricity grids, as well as solutions for transport such as electric buses and marine applications.
SGEM is an independent power producer that develops, builds owns and operates power generation assets including energy storage capabilities.
Project Designed to Overcome 'Range Anxiety'
Currently, most public EV charging stations operate at Level 2, requiring about six to eight hours to charge a vehicle. The existing grid infrastructure sometimes proves inadequate to support faster charging. This makes it cumbersome for EV drivers to travel long distances contributing to 'range anxiety,' and is one of the biggest obstacles globally to EV adoption.
The new system being developed by FAST Charge consists of an energy storage system, using large-format lithium-ion batteries, along with multiple outlet charging units that can be charge several EVs at once. This architecture helps overcome the slow charge issue by acting as a buffer between the grid and the vehicle and allowing EVs to be charged rapidly from the advanced lithium ion batteries instead of directly but more slowly from the grid. This will enable faster charging at Level 3 and higher, allowing EV drivers to charge their vehicles in just 20 minutes.
"Our system will recharge the battery storage units during off-peak times at considerable cost-savings and reduction in stress to the grid," said Bryan Urban, EVP of Leclanché North America and president of FAST Charge. "Vehicles will be able to power up during peak hours using off-peak energy and continue on their journey in a relatively similar amount of time it would take to fuel a fossil-fuel vehicle, grab a snack and visit a bathroom."
At the core of each station will be FAST Charge's state-of-the-art, energy storage system featuring advanced lithium-ion batteries with scalable capacity that will draw and store energy from the grid for use by charging units whenever required. Each station will have three charging units to allow three vehicles to be charged simultaneously.
FAST Charge has already started work on the demonstration units with significant funding to be provided by NRCan and a target completion date of December 2017. Manufacturing is scheduled to get underway in the first quarter of 2018 with installation of EV charging stations to be completed through the remainder of 2018. The FAST Charge stations will be installed at 34 locations along the Trans-Canada Highway roadway connecting Ontario and Manitoba Provinces – a total distance of approximately 3,000 kilometers or 1,860 miles with the stations spaced approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) apart.
"This is perhaps the largest infrastructure project for electrical vehicles to be deployed at one time anywhere in the world," said Elad Barak, VP business development of eCAMION. "We are pleased to collaborate with Natural Resources Canada, Leclanché and SGEM to deliver a public infrastructure improvement of this importance in terms of product innovation, environmental benefits and bold policy initiative."
Greater adoption of EVs for inter-urban travel will reduce the use of carbon-intensive fuels for transportation, which currently generates nearly a quarter of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. The installation of 102 charging units at 34 different locations by FAST Charge will reduce emissions by an estimated 0.7 million tons over the first five years of operation.
In addition, each charging station can be connected to a renewable energy source such as solar or wind to facilitate 100-percent emission-free driving. To further demonstrate this, the installation at Highway 11 and Philip Creek Road in Ontario, will be connected to a solar photovoltaic system, along with the grid, to demonstrate the full utilization of a clean energy solution
The project is scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2019.
About Natural Resources Canada
Natural Resources Canada seeks to enhance the responsible development and use of Canada's natural resources and the competitiveness of Canada's natural resources products. NRCan works to improve the quality of life of Canadians by ensuring that our natural resources are developed sustainably, providing a source of jobs, prosperity and opportunity, while preserving our environment and respecting our communities and Indigenous peoples.
We are a federal institution that leads the Natural Resources portfolio and works with its partners.
Leclanché is one of the world's leading, vertically integrated, energy storage solution providers. It delivers a wide range of energy storage solutions for homes, small offices, industry, electricity grids, as well as solutions for transport such as electric buses and marine applications. Established in 1909, Leclanché has been a trusted provider of battery energy storage solutions for over 100 years.
Leclanché is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, and is the only listed, pure-play, energy storage company in the world.
SIX Swiss Exchange: ticker symbol LECN | ISIN CH 011 030 311 9
eCAMION Inc. is a Toronto-based provider of modular, smart energy storage solutions that find innovative use in community storage, EV charging, auxiliary power units, storage for renewable energy projects as well as in custom applications. These solutions work seamlessly with the existing grid and eliminate issues such as intermittent supply, grid connectivity, and aging infrastructure to ensure reliable and consistent supply of energy. eCAMION's energy storage systems have been successfully deployed at various locations across Ontario for customers including Toronto Hydro and Sudbury Hydro.
For more information, please visit www.ecamion.com or email [email protected]
SGEM is an independent owner and operator of energy storage assets based in Switzerland. Driven by its long-term vision as an investor in energy storage infrastructure, SGEM covers all the value-added activities from final stage of project development, financing, construction supervision, operations & maintenance. SGEM built strong cooperation with various developers in selected markets and geographies to complete the validation of their project technical and economic performance. These different activities call on a range of capabilities, including industrial expertise and financial innovation.
For more information, visit: www.sgemgroup.com
FAST Charge is a trademark of FAST Charge, Inc. All other trade names are the property of their respective owners.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to Leclanché's business, which can be identified by terminology such as "strategic", "proposes", "to introduce", "will", "planned", "expected", "commitment", "expects", "set", "preparing", "plans", "estimates", "aims", "would", "potential", "awaiting", "estimated", "proposal", or similar expressions, or by expressed or implied discussions regarding the ramp up of Leclanché's production capacity, potential applications for existing products, or regarding potential future revenues from any such products, or potential future sales or earnings of Leclanché or any of its business units.
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