First in Canada: V2G project to utilise electric coaches as a grid power source

Coast to Coast Experiences launched a Vehicle-to-Grid pilot project for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in British Columbia. The tourism company managed to bring mayor partners on board and claims the V2G pilot was a first in Canada.

Image: Fermata Energy

These partners include BC Hydro’s PowerTech Labs, Lion Electric, BorgWarner, and Fermata Energy. Together, Coast to Coast Experiences (CTCE) wants to create a “rapid, deployable, end-to-end V2G mobile power infrastructure in Canada”.

The idea is to utilise the energy stored in the provider’s electric bus fleet to support power grids, such as BC Hydro’s. The company adds that its partnership with “other critical industry leaders in advancing V2G technology will also highlight the essential role an electric bus fleet can have in offsetting the peak capacity of utilities”.

For now, the pilot in British Columbia is designed to test the technical feasibility of bidirectional charging and mobile grid infrastructure in the commercial vehicle space. CTEC also hopes the proof of concept will open opportunities to monetise the fleet or lower the vehicles’ total cost of ownership.

In concrete terms, Fermata Energy delivers a bidirectional charging platform. It enables the parked electric buses supplied by Lion Electric to be utilised as mobile batteries and discharged in times of peak pressure on the grid.

“Our integration with Lion Electric and BorgWarner allows us to leverage our AI-driven cloud-based V2X software platform to determine where power is needed most as we support CTCE in maximising the value of their electric fleet,” explains Tony Posawatz, CEO of Fermata Energy.

“Our electric buses are capable of providing V2G solutions today,” added President of Lion Electric Nicolas Brunet. He considers this another milestone in demonstrating the benefits of electric transportation and enhancing the feasibility of electrification.

BC Hydro has also already tested a 60-kilowatt charger connecting a Lion Electric school bus from Lynch Bus Lines. The utility states a typical bus battery holds 66 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power 24 single-family electrically-heated homes for almost two hours.

As for the current project, the grid provider expects to leverage power from the V2G-enabled buses during peak periods to offset the grid. It adds that compared to other backup generation, medium-sized vehicles can also be mobilised much faster than traditional sources like diesel generators, and they are far cleaner.

The V2G pilot project is fully commissioned and operational over the next two weeks. It will also help create a V2G road map for BC Hydro and lay the foundation for distributed V2G charging hubs throughout North America.

CTEC expects applications like these to be “especially crucial” during cold Canadian winters and natural disasters with the potential for outages.

“With the growing adoption of electric vehicles, bi-directional charging represents a unique opportunity to use stationary vehicles as back-up batteries to charge electronic devices, homes and businesses and even send power back to the grid when demand is high,” agrees Chris O’Riley, who heads the utility.

BC Hydro is owned by the government of British Columbia and generates and delivers electricity to 95% of the population of BC, which is over five million people. The utility is also among the largest charging infrastructure providers in the province. The latter provided funding to the V2G pilot. The amount remains undisclosed but comes through the CleanBC fund.

Fermata Energy is a specialist in V2G service and an approved provider to Nissan, among others.

CTCE was founded in 2009 and currently operates in three North American tourism destinations, namely Vancouver, Seattle and New York.,,


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