Regional Visions for Electric Mobility
The BC Climate Leaders Playbook identifies seven “big moves” communities can take to reach their 2030 and 2050 emissions reductions goals. Electrifying passenger and utility vehicles is a critical component of an overarching strategy to build a complete zero-emission transportation system that connects communities and regions.
The good news is we know what we needs to be done. What can be unclear is specifically how unique communities and regions can get there. At CEA we are experts in understanding the big vision while leveraging the context and opportunity of a region or community. In this way, climate solutions are pragmatic and ultimately addressing GHG emissions while building resilience and co-benefits for residents.
We are grateful to BC Hydro for supporting the idea of co-creating solutions to achieve a shared vision of regional e-mobility ecosystems. In 2019 we piloted the first e-mobility visioning session with BC Hydro and RDEK support. The outcome was nine innovative pilot projects that were funding-ready. A few of the projects designed during that 2-day session are now either funded (like the mobile battery unit!) or in proposal.
After the success of this initial pilot in the East Kootenay, we were again supported by BC Hydro to adapt the workshop template to new regions. In 2021, after making adjustments to create an engaging and compelling online experience, our team collaborated with stakeholders on Vancouver Island and in the Central/North regions.
In each respective workshop, we adapted the presentations to provide participants with a glimpse at technology that was relevant to their context but otherwise used a common format and shared outcomes:
- Develop a shared vision for how the region is benefiting from the transition to electric mobility in 2040.
- Define 3-5 pilot project concepts so they are ready for scoping and work planning.
The workshop was designed on the foundational understanding that in order for solutions to provide maximum benefits and impact, they need to reflect a diversity of perspectives and expertise. For that reason, the participants in each workshop represented a variety of organizations. Furthermore, on a regional scale, collaboration is critical; rural communities are linked economically andsocially so it makes sense to create solutions that leverage investments and resources.
We wanted to capture the creative contributions and energy participants brought to the sessions. Recording and sharing the ideas and visions of participants puts the pilot projects into context. We worked with artists at Drawing Change to create a graphic record the sessions. This preserved the co-created vision and the hopes and dreams participants had for future of e-mobility innovation.
Where are we now? Where are we going? How do we get there?
Answering "where are we now?"
When communities start exploring what is possible in the future for a fully integrated e-mobility network, the opportunities are endless. The e-mobility ecosystem includes elements of the following, all of which may make up the future landscape of our communities:
- Electric vehicles – light, medium and heavy duty
- Electric recreation – e-bikes/dirt bikes/snowmobiles/all-terrain vehicles/boats
- Smart grid/battery/on-site renewables
- Charging: at home, public level 2 and public fast charging
- Emerging technologies – autonomous vehicles, battery storage, induction charging, etc.
To ensure all participants were aware of recent innovations in the e-mobility ecosystem, we coordinated presentations from industry leaders in each respective region. Below is the graphic summary of the presentations for each region (click to enlarge in a new tab). By anchoring the workshop in understanding current trends, innovations and opportunities, participants could then imagine how their region and communities could evolve.
Answering "where are we going?"
In each workshop, participants created a shared vision of how their regions and communities are prepared for and benefiting from the transition to electric mobility. In order to synthesize ideas, participants were tasked to imagine newspaper headlines that articulate the 2040 future state.
Vancouver Island participants envisioned a future with 3 key themes:
Connected communities/ integrated transportation
"10th Year Celebration for Vancouver Island's Electric Train, with final station unveiled in Port Hardy."
"The Island and even the gulf islands are a fully connected with a transportation network."
"New Study Shows: Everyone Has Access to Car but Doesn't Need It."
"Cycle touring from East Coast through Sunshine coast now the most traveled route in BC and it's zero emissions!"
"Vancouver Island Transportation Authority (VITA) celebrates 25th anniversary."
"Game changer: Electric rail eliminates emissions and allows people to move up and down the Island without having to own a car."
"Last gas station on Vancouver Island is converted to an electric mobility hub."
"Every community on Vancouver Island has EV, Hydrogen, or low carbon infrastructure to connect residents and tourists alike."
"Vancouver Island no Longer Has 'Charging Deserts'."
"Vancouver Island the first jurisdiction to reach ZEV mandate targets."
"Whether by air or by sea people visiting the Island can make every trip via electrification."
"Because VI has shifted to electric transportation biodiversity is regenerating."
"Vancouver Island achieves zero grid power usage for first time since Power Resilience Initiative Kicked Off."
"100% of travel on Vancouver Island now powered by renewable energy."
"VI eliminates the need to import fossil fuels for transportation sector."
Central/North participants envisioned a future with 3 key themes:
"1/4 reduction in vehicles on the roads in Kamloops because of improved mobility infrastructure (bikes, scooters, etc.)."
"The last local government fleet vehicle is electrified."
"Provincial and Private Campground Association fully bans diesel generator."
"No new parking spaces are created as people are eliminating car ownership."
"The Gold Rush Trail expansion is electrified into a multi-use recreational trail across the region."
"Central and Northern BC recognized for top 5 bucket list, sustainable, decarbonized, must see destinations in international tourism magazine."
"Electric touring itinerary supports fully integrated route - CanaDream + PE Partnership Celebrates 10 years."
"Hwy 97/16 is rated top recreation route for all e-ventures."
Diverse travel options
"Accessible rail commuting across hwy 16 is a safe and cost effective transportation option."
"Final section of Induction Charging completed on Highway 97."
"All main streets in the region are pedestrian only and primarily access by electric micro mobility."
Answering "how do we get there?"
After thinking about the unique characteristics of their region and defining specific strengths or opportunities, stakeholders moved to articulating prototype ideas.
Vancouver Island stakeholders talked about current momentum and rate of adoption of EVs on the island as well as a history of regional collaboration and current congestion. These characteristics are just a few reasons noted as unique opportunities that can be leveraged when designing prototype projects.
Central/North BC stakeholders noted the vast wilderness with existing assets like campgrounds and anchor communities. The region has unique opportunity to leverage connectivity and wild, natural spaces to build zero emission tourism destinations/experiences.
While stakeholders in each session envisioned several potential prototypes, in the end the following were voted as presenting the biggest opportunity:
- ZEV delivery zones - smaller EVs deliver goods to city centres (cargo bike delivery into city centres)
- Regional e-bike and recreational sea-side tourism route.
- Fully built out EV and e-bike charging infrastructure network for the region. (Bike rentals at campgrounds to bike into town for goods, recreation)
- EV route between PG and Kamloops - pick up your E-camper and e-bikes.
- Bike loop connecting sun peaks, Kamloops, Logan Lake and other rec sites/campsites. carshare hubs strategically located to allow air travelers to do multi-day trips without a car.
- Quesnel campground - e-mobility hub to support low carbon regional biking and recreation.
We hope you can use these images to accelerate innovation on e-mobility! Please credit Community Energy Association with a link to this post if you do use them - thank you!
Medium Duty Vehicle Landscape Study
CEA researched how many medium duty vehicles (F250-F450 and equivalents) are registered across Canada, how many are used for what kinds of businesses, and where the opportunities are to reduce emissions in this sector.
The fleets in this sector are focused on electrification to deliver emissions reductions. We engaged with the vehicle registration entity in each province and obtained registration data for key provinces.
This work is supported by Natural Resources Canada to contribute to a better understanding of Class 2b to Class 4 fleet vehicles. This report was completed in March 2021 and represents a snapshot in time of available data, information, insights, and perspectives. The findings highlight specific opportunities for Natural Resources Canada to support emissions reduction and hints at local government opportunities as well.
Fernie Food Action Strategy
This project arose at a time when the global pandemic has highlighted the importance of a local supply chain, food access and robust local agriculture.
We gathered input from residents, farmers, processors, gardeners, and City of Fernie staff, and arrived at four actionable recommendations, shown in the graphic to the right.
Identify and clarify the current gaps and vulnerabilities in the Elk Valley food web.
Activity: Engage local residents and local food advocates through surveys, interviews, and other online engagement tools.
Research and compile food security initiatives, policies, and actions.
Activity: Scan food security plans and policy and compile into a reference document. Identify key actions, “quick win’ opportunities, balanced with long-term enabling policies.
Develop a Food Action Strategy to enable enhanced food production activities.
Activity: Compile identified opportunities into a Food Action Strategy to reduce barriers and increase community food resiliency including key actions and land use policy recommendations specific to the City of Fernie.
Develop a Food Action Strategy to enable enhanced food production activities.
Activity: Engage local government on enabling policies that reflect and support the City of Fernie Official Community Plan
Celebrate Food, Get Involved!
- Join the Fernie Food Security Facebook page
- Fernie Community Food Action Survey - survey is closed
- Participate in the community "food celebration" sessions
- Talk to three people about the Fernie Food Action project and share this webpage
- Bookmark this webpage
Schedule of Events
- August 27th to October 31st - Fernie Residents Survey - See survey results
- September 23rd - Online Community Conversation #1 - Watch the video recording
- October 2020 - Project Update to City of Fernie Council - Watch the video recording
- January 2021 - Presentation to City of Fernie, Committee of the Whole - View the slide deck
- March 2021 - Final report on this first stage of the Fernie Food Action Strategy - Read the report
BC First Nation and Remote Community Energy Network
CEA worked with the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (MEMPR) to host a workshop with key agencies that provide support and funding for Indigenous communities working on energy and climate action.
This multi-agency meeting included representatives from programs supporting action across the spectrum of clean energy – planning and implementation, training and capacity building, housing support, energy efficiency and generation.
CEA facilitated a full day agenda with discussions on collaborative funding and aligned program offers, supported by graphic facilitation and productive break-out sessions. Co-creating a 10-year vision set the stage for future collaboration on 36 funding offers from over 30 organizations.
Ucluelet 100% Renewable Energy Plan
In 2019, CEA collaborated with the District of Ucluelet to create their Climate Action Plan, which was adopted that same year. Titled "Clean Energy for the Safe Harbour", the plan set ambitious 2050 targets of 100% Renewable Energy and 80% reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. It includes an inventory of community emissions, goals to achieve the targets, and strategies to achieve those goals and ultimately allowed them to be awarded FCM Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) Milestone 4 and Milestone 2 for action community and corporate emissions, respectively.
The full document can be found here: https://ucluelet.ca/images/Clean_Energy_for_the_Safe_Harbour_March_29.pdf
Closing the Loop
Local governments making infrastructure plans that recover energy and resources from waste can use this resource to access a multitude of information including technology, case studies and funding support. This guide was compiled by CEA with the generous support of the Province of B.C. - Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and our team is grateful to the project advisory committee who guided the direction of the project and provided helpful review and suggestions.
“Closing the Loop” is a guide about capturing value from local government infrastructure by recovering energy and other resources from waste.
This guide builds from past work related to “Integrated Resource Recovery” (IRR), including:
- Resources from Waste: Integrated Resource Management Study (2008)
- Resources from Waste: A Guide to Integrated Resource Recovery (IRR) (2009)
- Integrated Resource Recovery Inventory (2010)
In the ten years since the original study, many local governments have demonstrated that IRR technologies can use solid and liquid waste to create energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve water, and recover nutrients, while saving money and potentially generating revenue.
“Closing the Loop” places IRR into a broader approach we are calling “regenerative infrastructure”. The approach, and its name, is inspired by the concept of regenerative design, which mimics nature’s processes. In nature, there is no waste, as all resources cycle through closed loop systems and serve a purpose.
There are 4 main sections in the resource:
*The foundation of much of the content in the Tools and Technologies section is from the original Integrated Resource Recovery (IRR) Guide, Resources from Waste (2009), authored by Stephen Salter and the Province of B.C.