Renewable Rides is an innovative, award-winning program in which SES has brought 100% solar-powered electric vehicles to the Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative’s fleet of cars. This is the first of its kind in Canada: a car-share program, with electric vehicles, powered by 100% solar energy, for anyone to use!
SES is very excited to be part of this new initiative, supported by the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification Canada. We are also partnering with the Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative, Affinity Credit Union, Exa Energy Consulting, Radiance Cohousing, Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon Light & Power, the SES Solar Co-operative, Sun Country Highway, and Wardell Gillis Law, to bring this unique project to fruition.
The use of electric vehicles is growing, in particular with countries banning the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars, such as Netherlands (2020), Norway (2023), India (2030), and France & Britain (2040). What’s unique is that our electric vehicles are powered by solar energy. The SES Solar Co-operative has installed one hundred and twenty-six solar panels, with 37.8 kilowatts of generation capacity, that will provide renewable energy into the Saskatoon grid to power the vehicles.
Car-sharing programs are fast becoming useful ways for people to travel, especially if trying to cut down on the cost of expensive car ownership. The Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative members have 24-hour access to vehicles and only pay for what they use. We expect them to have many new members who will have access to electric vehicles as a result of this program.
The SES Solar Co-operative and the Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative, along with all of our Renewable Rides team members listed below, are providing various elements to the project, including financial support, technical expertise, and in-kind contributions:
- Sun Country Highway is providing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, and the design, development, and integration of the EV car share technology
- Saskatchewan Research Council is doing data analysis on driving conditions impacts on EVs, and will look at load growth and demand management on the urban electric grid as EVs become more widely adopted
- Saskatoon Light & Power is providing the transfer of renewable energy through a virtual net metering process
- Wardell Gillis is providing legal expertise
- Affinity Credit Union is hosting an EV charging station and is providing financial support towards the purchase of two EVs
- Radiance Co-housing is providing financial support towards one EV and hosting the solar array on their building
Thank you to all of our Renewable Rides organizations for making this innovative program happen in Saskatchewan!