Conestoga news

April 20, 2023 10:58 AM

New EV fleet supports reduced GHG emissions

A new fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) will help Conestoga in its continued efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

Conestoga College_EV fleet 2023.jpg
A new fleet of EVs will help Conestoga in its continued efforts to reduce GHG emissions.

Facilities Management has replaced two service vehicles with fully electric 2022 Ford E-transit cargo vans. The model is one of the first of its kind to hit the market in Ontario and Conestoga is among the first in Waterloo Region to incorporate the vehicle into its service fleet.

“The college is committed to reducing GHG emissions to support a more sustainable future,” said Kathryn Brubacher, executive director of Facilities Management. “As we continue to grow, we are looking for innovative solutions to support our efforts. Committing to replacing or adding to our fleet with more sustainable options is one way we hope to contribute.”

The first vehicle arrived in February and replaced a van used to courier mail and other items between Conestoga campuses and sites, reducing fuel by approximately 13,700 kilometers a year. The second vehicle, which is expected to arrive in May, will be used primarily by college service technicians to travel between campuses. Moving forward, Brubacher said all new fleet vehicles across the college will be at least a hybrid model, if not fully electric.

“This initiative will have a huge impact on our GHG emissions in transportation and is a significant step forward,” said Samantha Tremmel Lamb, environmental sustainability coordinator in Facilities Management. “In addition to adding more hybrid and electric vehicles to our fleets, we also hope to add more EV charging stations to encourage and support sustainable transportation options.”

The college has installed 11 EV charging stations across Conestoga campuses and sites, including the Kitchener - Doon, Waterloo, Cambridge - Fountain Street, and Guelph campuses, as well as the 3065 King Street employee office site.

Conestoga’s commitment to environmental sustainability is demonstrated through several initiatives and projects across the college. All aspects of managing current facilities and planning new infrastructure are approached with a sustainability lens to work towards improving energy efficiency, reducing GHG emissions, and implementing waste reduction strategies.

Recent projects include the installation of a 1.3MW solar panel system at the Kitchener - Doon campus, expected to go live this spring, and a 158kW system at the Waterloo campus that went live at the beginning of April. Combined with the Cambridge - Fountain Street campus system installed in 2019, the three systems are expected to generate 2.5 million kWh of renewable energy a year, or enough to provide electricity to more than 225 homes.  

For more information on achievements and plans in sustainability, visit Facilities Management.