Saskatoon

Saskatoon official recommends looking into electric vehicle infrastructure when building or renovating

“Stuff like that is always fairly inexpensive if you do it at the building level, as opposed to having to trench in lines and that sort of thing later on,” said Amber Weckworth, manager of climate strategy and data in the city’s sustainability department.

'Stuff like that is always fairly inexpensive if you do it at the building level': climate strategy manager

Rob Dixon, co-owner of R&L Electric, says the number of people looking to get electric vehicle chargers installed in their home is slowly rising as electric vehicles become more common. (Supplied by R&L Electric )

The City of Saskatoon is looking to expand its infrastructure for electric vehicles and some sustainability leaders are advising members of the public to think ahead.

The city is currently in the process of selecting a partner to help bring more charging stations to Saskatoon. Officials also say that as electric vehicles become more common, it's important that people building new homes in the city are properly equipped to handle them.

"Stuff like that is always fairly inexpensive if you do it at the building level, as opposed to having to trench in lines and that sort of thing later on, which may cause you some challenges," said Amber Weckworth, manager of climate strategy and data in the city's sustainability department. 

The city already has four electric vehicles in its fleet. Weckworth said the plan is to have the entire fleet, including larger vehicles like street sweepers and garbage trucks, fully electric by 2030.

"There's lots of moving pieces, but it's just what you call a 'no-brainer' as you're getting toward climate action," she said. 

Rob Dixon, co-owner of R&L Electric, said the company is seeing more people looking for at-home electric vehicle infrastructure. 

"It's slowly creeping up more and more," he said. 

Dixon said anyone doing home renovations or a new build should take time to ensure their electrical grid is equipped to handle an electric-vehicle charging station, noting it's important to know exactly what they're looking for. 

"Just do your homework before you proceed," he said. "Because it may require some alterations on your electrical system."

Dixon said some people might look into buying an electric vehicle, only to realize their home would been an electric upgrade. He said he thinks its positive that the city is looking at installing more infrastructure for electric vehicles, saying it shows the city is listening to the community and taking a proactive approach.

SaskPower said there are less than 400 electric vehicles on Saskatchewan roads currently, but that the number is "growing every day."

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