Press Release: SES launches more electric vehicles powered by the sun—serving a new neighbourhood

Press Release
Saskatchewan Environmental Society
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
For immediate release

SES launches more electric vehicles powered by the sun—serving a new neighbourhood

In a commitment to the furtherance of sustainability in Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and partners have launched two additional publicly accessible electric vehicles as part of the Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative’s fleet. Renewable Rides is the first of its kind in Canada: a car-share program, with electric vehicles, powered by 100% solar energy, for anyone to use.

As of today, four electric vehicles (EVs) have been disseminated in Saskatoon. One in the Nutana neighbourhood, two in City Park, and one in Riversdale. Soon, a fifth electric vehicle will be launched. Megan Van Buskirk, Coordinator of the Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative says, “On behalf of the Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative’s membership, I am beyond excited to witness our fleet expand by 250%. Mere months ago, we were operating just two gas vehicles in the Nutana neighbourhood, and with the recent addition of the EVs, we now have a total of six vehicles serving three neighbourhoods, and soon to have a seventh vehicle added. Our expanded operations will allow even more Saskatoon residents to take advantage of the convenience, affordability, and sustainability that car-sharing offers. We can’t wait to meet our new members!”

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the work of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society with an investment of over $238,000 through Western Economic Diversification Canada,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “We look forward to seeing their success as they continue to help build a sustainable future for the citizens of Saskatchewan.”

Renewable Rides is unique in its approach, with ten organizations working to bring this project to fruition. Team member Kent Rathwell, CEO of SunCountry Highway says, “As a company that aims to bring sustainability to life, we are pleased to play a part in the public dissemination of these green technologies, including the EVs and their respective charging stations. To date, we are responsible for deploying thousands of charging stations throughout North America and have made it possible to travel from coast to coast, emission free. And now, Saskatoon residents can participate in creating an emission free future by car-sharing today.”

Having these green technologies in place allows the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) to monitor data, which is expected to increase consumer confidence in EV technology. “By capturing and analyzing a wide array of data from both the vehicles and the charging stations, SRC will assess how electric vehicles could best be utilized in a Saskatchewan context,” says Ryan Jansen, Research Engineer at SRC. “Our unique prairie climate creates both challenges and opportunities related to transportation and energy management. We are excited to further explore and understand how these vehicles can impact smart grid systems.”

By bringing together these organizations to work on green technologies, sustainable transportation solutions, and renewable power, Renewable Rides is providing solutions that extend beyond sustainability, resulting in practical outcomes such as reduced parking congestion, a lower cost of living, and hassle-free vehicle access.