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Electrify Canada pledges to install 20 EV chargers at Canadian Tire stores

Electrify Canada announced they will start installing some 20 charging stations at Canadian Tire locations in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec.

These added charging stations would essentially allow owners with longer-range electric vehicles (EV) the ability to travel from Vancouver to Calgary, and Detroit to Quebec City. They built their first EV charging station in Ontario last month.

The new stations will feature Electrify Canada’s DC 350kW Fast Charger. These can supply 30km of power per minute of charge if the vehicle supports it. The chargers can also scale down to 150 kW. Vehicles with both CCS and CHAdeMO charging ports can use the chargers.

Electrify Canada, like its U.S. counterpart Electrify America, is a subsidiary of Volkswagen. They hope to provide brand-agnostic support and charger access.

Press Release »

Toronto, ON (October 9, 2019) – Electrify Canada announced today it will launch its nation-wide electric vehicle (EV) charging network with over 20 installations planned to roll out at select Canadian Tire locations across Canada.

The popularity of and demand for EVs continues to rise, making them the future of the automotive industry. As such, Electrify Canada and Canadian Tire are joining forces to deliver on a growing demand from drivers for EV charging. The initiative is expected to help make Canadian Tire Corporation one of the leading EV charging station hosts in Canada with charging stations at select Canadian Tire locations in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec.

“Canadian Tire is one of Canada’s most recognizable and trusted retailers, making this collaboration a natural fit,” says Rob Barrosa, Chief Operating Officer of Electrify Canada. “We are thrilled to be entering into a relationship with a company that has strong Canadian roots and shares the same values and core beliefs of providing convenience and reliability of services to users. Together we look forward to bringing a positive charge to EV drivers across the country.”

“As a trusted Canadian brand that is a part of communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast, Canadian Tire is responding to Canadians’ desire to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, through initiatives that include making EV charging stations available at select locations across the country,” said Andrew Davies, Senior Vice President, Automotive, Canadian Tire. “At its roots, Canadian Tire is an automotive company, and for over 97 years we have evolved to meet the needs of our customers. We are excited to work with Electrify Canada to bring their leading-edge technology to our EV-driving customers.”

Charging stations at all Electrify Canada locations will offer the first-ever certified liquid cooled-cable 150 to 350-kilowatt (kW) DC Fast Chargers. All EVs compatible with CCS or CHAdeMO charging outlets will be able to access the ultra-fast charging systems with the latest charging technology available.

Electrify Canada’s chargers offer charging speeds of 50kW and 150-350kW that service EVs from all automotive manufacturers. All EVs, regardless of maximum charging capacity, can utilize the 150-350W range chargers. This could ultimately culminate in a nationwide EV infrastructure that brings electric mobility to all Canadians.

New Google tool helps cities like Saskatoon battle the effects of climate change

CBC News »

City of Saskatoon officials hope new software designed by Google will provide more information in the city’s battle against climate change.

The software tool, Environmental Insights Explorer, combines information from Google Maps with existing information about greenhouse gas emissions to paint a picture of a city’s environmental footprint.

“Any time where we can carry out a discussion with the community around climate change and generate discussion, I think it’s extremely valuable,” said Jeanna South, the city’s director of sustainability.

More » Google Canada Blog

By analyzing Google’s comprehensive global mapping data together with greenhouse gas (GHG) emission factors, EIE estimates city-scale building and transportation carbon emissions data with the option to drill down into more specific data, such as the distances travelled by mode (automobiles, public transit, biking etc) or the percentage of emissions generated by residential or non-residential buildings.

Resource » Environmental Insights Explorer

Shell CEO » Blaming oil suppliers won’t solve climate change

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden is attempting to shift the blame.

Kelly Gilblom and Annmarie Hordern, writing for Bloomberg News »

Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said the oil industry has to take radical steps to reduce carbon emissions, but consumers must do the same.

“It’s us as a society that needs to transform, not just the suppliers of energy,” van Beurden said in a Bloomberg TV interview on the sidelines of the Oil & Money conference on Wednesday. “If you want to decarbonize the energy system, it’s not about forcing people to take lower-carbon supply.”

Oil majors are under increasing pressure from investors and the public to move more quickly away from planet-warming fossil fuels. Shell is investing in wind farms, electric car charging and hydrogen, while also continuing to pump billions into its traditional fossil fuels business.

“We are not Big Oil, we are Big Energy,” van Beurden said. In a nod to climate change and the energy transition, the Oil & Money conference will next year change its name to the Energy Intelligence Forum.

Read more at Bloomberg News »

California’s massive power outage should serve as a wake-up call for everyone

Kat Eschner, writing for Popular Science (paywall) »

The shutdown is happening because of concerns that the electrical grid could start another fire that would rival or even exceed the Camp Fire of 2018, which killed at least 86 people and destroyed the town of Paradise, CA. High winds are expected to batter northern California in the coming days, and conditions there are already extremely dry—perfect weather for sparks from a downed powerline to start another inferno. Hence the shutdown, which will affect 34 of the 58 counties in California to some degree.

The cuts, which include northern parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, are expected to last at least several days, but it’s not easy to predict. “Once the weather dies down, we’re still going to have to go out and inspect those lines visually, make sure that the lines are safe before we re-energize,” PG&E spokesperson Tamar Sarkissian told KPIX last night. “If there’s any damage, we’re going to have to make repairs.”

Sparks from toppled PG&E power lines caused the devastating 2018 fires. Given the forecasted weather—and the evidence that PG&E’s infrastructure isn’t built to withstand it—preemptively shutting down power on such a widespread basis makes sense, says Rae Zimmerman, a New York University professor of planning and public administration.

Read more at Popular Science »

More » Gizmodo, Fast Company, Fast Company (again), SlashGear, Mercury News,

Live map of power outages in the Bay Area from the San Francisco Chronicle


Tesla Model 3 now holds 24% of small and midsize luxury car sales in USA

Zachary Shahan, writing in Clean Technica »

The Tesla Model 3 has taken the US luxury car market by storm. When sales soared through the roof in the second half of 2018, making the Model 3 far and away the best selling luxury car in the country and the best selling car car of any type in terms of revenue, fans were excited for the launch of a new era. Critics, on the other hand, saw it as a temporary boom from early reservation holders that would soon be over, then resulting in a crash in Tesla sales, Tesla financials, and the company as a whole.

Norway’s largest pension fund KLP exits Canadian oil sands companies

Reuters »

KLP, Norway’s largest pension fund, will no longer invest in companies deriving their income from oil sands, and recently sold stocks and bonds in such firms worth about $58 million, it said on Monday.

Oil sands have been a focal point of environmental groups’ global efforts to stifle energy production from fossil fuels, saying they take an especially large toll on the environment.

KLP’s decision affects five companies, which were added to its exclusion list: Canada’s Cenovus Energy, Suncor Energy, Husky Energy and Exxon-controlled Imperial Oil, as well as Russia’s Tatneft PAO.

The fund, which manages over $81 billion in assets, said its new policy was to exclude companies with more than 5% of their revenue derived from the oil sands business, similar to its rule on coal.

Amsterdam is cutting car access in the city centre, and expanding public transit

Fearbus O’Sullivan, writing in Citylab »

In an effort to ease this clash of mobility modes and achieve its ultimate goal of becoming a “car-free city,” Amsterdam Alderperson (as members of the municipal legislature are called) Sharon Dijksma* announced a host of new measures last week designed to make it harder for motorists to use at least ten central streets as through-routes, using one-way systems, roadway narrowing, and barriers. To further encourage drivers to give up their keys, the city also announced plans to open the Amsterdam Metro all night on weekends starting in 2021, and to make all weekend transit free for children under 12 in the same year. Meanwhile, City Hall is already mulling a more sweeping plan—not just to restrict through-traffic, but to ban it altogether.

The city boasts an ambitious slate of car-mitigation goals, including a ban on all gas- and diesel- powered cars in the city by 2030. Part of that push might involve encouraging drivers to switch to electric vehicles, but aspirations to a zero-emissions future—and solutions to the logistical complications of creating a charging network for an expanded electric fleet—are going to be far easier to realize with significantly fewer private vehicles on the road.

The tools Amsterdam is using to build its car-free future don’t require huge amounts of disruption or cost. Key among these is what the Dutch call a “cut” (knip in Dutch). This involves simply putting up barriers that close off a short strip of a long street; most of the street can still be accessed for deliveries, pick-ups, and drop-offs, but it’s no longer good as a route across town.

Read more »

P.E.I. plastic bag recycling troubles disappear with ban

Kevin Yarr, writing for the CBC News »

After almost two years of being unable to find markets to recycle single-use plastic bags, the problem on P.E.I. has evaporated with the implementation of the Plastic Bag Reduction Act on July 1, says the CEO of Island Waste Management Corporation.

When China stopped taking overseas recyclables in the fall of 2017, IWMC started stockpiling the bags, and then burning them in Charlottetown’s energy-from-waste plant. But that is no longer necessary.

“We’ve seen the volume go from, it would probably be about 30 to 40 million bags a year, basically to almost nothing,” said CEO Gerry Moore.

Costa Rica named 2019 ‘UN Champion of the Earth’ for pioneering role in fighting climate change

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Press Release »

Costa Rica has received a 2019 Champions of the Earth award, the UN’s highest environmental honour, for its role in the protection of nature and its commitment to ambitious policies to combat climate change.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recognized Costa Rica in the policy leadership category. 

A world leader in sustainability, the Central American nation has drafted a detailed plan to decarbonize its economy by 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN’s’ Sustainable Development Goals. It hopes to provide a template for other nations to curb the deadly emissions causing rapid, disastrous climate change.

More than a million gallons of oil spilled in the Bahamas during Hurricane Dorian

Yessenia Funes, writing for Earther at Gizmodo »

Nearly 1.5 million gallons of oil have spilled since Hurricane Dorian destroyed an oil storage facility on Grand Bahama Island last month. The worst part? Equinor, the company that owns the oil facility, still isn’t done cleaning up the mess, which means the final total will be higher than it is right now.

Erik Haaland, a press officer with Equinor, confirmed to Earther on Monday that the Norway-based company had recovered 35,000 barrels of oil as of Sunday. That amounts to 1.47 million gallons—and the company still hasn’t released a final estimate of oil lost.

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