Use of electric vehicle charging stations is on the rise in Kanata North, Canada’s largest research and technology hub.
KRP Properties, which manages 33 buildings spanning 3.1 million square feet of space in the area, recently expanded its EV charging station program to meet the demand.
“People are more aware of greenhouse gases, climate change and of their environmental impact,” says Ray Cleroux, senior property manager at KRP. “We are continually expanding our sustainability initiatives and wanted to invest in this program sooner than later.”
Cleroux spearheaded the project in 2016 by surveying tenants to gauge interest in having access to EV charging stations in parking lots. The findings were overwhelmingly positive and included many workers who said they were considering the purchase of an EV.
KRP partnered with ChargePoint, the world’s largest network of independently owned and operated EV charging stations, to pilot the project with six chargers at buildings where demand was the highest.
After seeing heavy use at the initial installations, KRP expanded the project and now offers tenants an opportunity to charge their EV at 29 dual port stations – the highest concentration of charging stations in Ottawa-Gatineau, according to ChargePoint.
Users pay a small hourly fee to charge their vehicles and are notified through the ChargePoint app when their cars are fully charged.
In the last three months, KRP’s Kanata North charging stations have seen 670 sessions.
“The initial installs piqued people’s interest,” says property manager Sara Carriere. “Some tenants even reached out to say that the ability to charge their vehicles at the workplace was a motivating factor in purchasing an electronic vehicle.”
When the initial survey was done in 2016, some 40 respondents reported owning an EV with 100 EV owners projected for 2018.
With proven buy-in from tenants, KRP wants to continue to move the needle on its many sustainability programs, says Carriere.
In addition to the EV charging station program, KRP has made green upgrades to its infrastructure, offset its electricity use by purchasing green energy through Bullfrog Power, lowered its base building power consumption and has seen success in its waste diversion program.
“Some buildings have diversion rates of 70 per cent or more,” says Carriere. “We work really closely with our tenants to keep our numbers up.”
Carriere says KRP tenants are regularly checking in to see if they’re meeting their own sustainability targets.
“We get regular requests from tenants to see their consumption or energy data so that they can monitor it internally,” she says.
Carriere says KRP is looking into expanding the information that is available to tenants to provide even more robust data and continue the progress that is being made in Kanata North.
“We’re always exploring new ways to advance our approach to corporate social responsibility,” she adds.