Arctic Energy Alliance has an Electric Vehicle

Posted 2015-01-21
Written by
Category Taking Action

The Arctic Energy Alliance (AEA) has acquired an Electric Vehicle (EV) at the Yellowknife office as a pilot project to test how the technology performs in cold weather. The 2015 Chevrolet Volt will be used for 18 months, to include 2 winters in the testing period. The vehicle will be used by AEA staff to conduct energy audits and travel to events. We can also take passengers who are interested to see how an electric vehicle performs. The Volt will also travel occasionally to our offices in the Tlicho, South Slave and Deh Cho regions.

Like other hybrid-electric vehicles, the Volt has a regenerative braking system that charges the batteries when braking. But unlike a typical hybrid vehicle, the Volt can be charged with electricity from the grid and driven without using gas until the batteries are drained. The Volt has an electric propulsion system that uses an electric motor to drive the car all of the time. The gas powered generator does not propel the vehicle directly, but provides electricity to the electric motor.

The Volt can be charged from a standard household 120 volt outlet, which will take 10-16 hours for a full charge. AEA installed a 240 volt charging station which can charge the vehicle in only 4 hours.

According to Chevrolet: ‘Volt lets you drive on pure electricity for your everyday commute and seamlessly switches to gasoline for longer trips.’ Chevrolet estimates the Volt can drive up to 61 kilometers on electricity alone, at which point the gasoline generator will kick-in to give a total driving range of 608 km. Like all vehicles, the mileage and range is expected to be reduced in cold weather, and our cold weather testing will help us determine how much the car is affected by cold northern weather.

Although there are over 80,000 Volts and over 250,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles of all brands sold worldwide so far1, we are unaware of any in northern Canadian locations with winters as long and cold as Yellowknife.

AEA will monitor the performance of the vehicle during the cold winter months and provide this information to the public, as well as to Chevrolet so they can learn from our experiences and incorporate that learning into future development of electric vehicles.

The picture shows our new Volt, watch for it around town with decals soon!

1-from Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug-in_hybrid