Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE), a non-profit organization located in Ottawa, has initiated a campaign to install up to 25 electric car chargers in 20 Indigenous communities throughout Canada. Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCAN) Zero-Emission Vehicles Infrastructure Initiative has provided $316,250 to assist this Public EV Charging initiative titled “Charge Up”.
The aim of this program is to assist Indigenous communities throughout Canada in pursuing renewable energy options. The Charge Up program intends to assist and accelerate the development of electric vehicle chargers in underprivileged areas, as many Indigenous communities are isolated and located in rural areas. The Indigenous Clean Energy program is structured in a way to normalize Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure by targeting areas that are situated far away from the city.
How Does The ICE Charge Up Program Work?
The funds will be used for equipment and installation costs for both DC fast chargers (Level 3 Chargers) and Level 2 electric car chargers. However, these funds do not support continuing maintenance and operational expenses.
The applicants for the Charge Up program must select an eligible location, select the type of charger to install, have an electrical contractor verify electrical load capacity and provide an installation quote, take photos of the site, and fill out an online application form. The eligible locations include; multi-unit residential buildings, workplaces, public places, light-duty fleets, and on-street parking. They can install Level 2 chargers for $5,000 per connection with a rebate, or a DC rapid charger with outputs of 20kW to 49kW, 50kW to 99kW, or 100 kW and beyond for $15,000, $50,000, or $75,000 per charger, respectively.
Indigenous communities who want to apply for charger financing must be prepared to finance the entire project’s cash flow up front before getting repaid for half of it afterwards.
Breakdown of ICE Funds.
The Charge Up program covers half of the expenditures for projects, up to a maximum of $75,000 per charger, depending on the degree of infrastructure implemented. The ICE team will assess all the applications at the end of each month until all of the funds have been distributed. Indigenous Clean Energy will choose beneficiaries based on demand in a transparent method. By March 2023, all electric car chargers will be deployed in public spaces, multi-unit residential complexes, on roadways, and at businesses or facilities that service light-duty vehicle fleets. Since the initiative is fairly new, as anticipated, not many applications have been received by the team.
One of the key issues that is serving as a detriment to this initiative is the lack of resources in some indigenous communities. Bearing the initial costs before the grant comes in may be too much of a burden, resulting in a negative outcome. Such indigenous communities can avoid these costs by combining financing from other provincial or non-governmental organisations.