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Enmax plugs medium-duty electric vehicles into its Calgary fleet

An Enmax worker plugs in one of the Calgary utility's two medium duty electric vehicles, on April 11, 2022. handout / Enmax

The company that provides electricity to thousands of Calgary homes is tapping into that energy source for some of their fleet.

On Monday, utility company Enmax announced it was adding two medium-duty electric vehicles (EVs) to its fleet, a first for a Canadian utility.

“This pilot will help us better understand the performance of electric vehicles and how they operate in the field,” Enmax Power president Jana Mosley said in a statement.

“Our customers need us to be future-focused, ensuring that we can support them in their energy choices. When it comes to electrification, we have an incredible opportunity to do just that, by electrifying first.”

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The pilot program is expected to save an estimated 4,300 litres of diesel fuel a year and aims to be a step on the path to have a fully-electrified mobile fleet by 2030.

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“When compared to a standard gas or diesel vehicle, the total cost of electric vehicle ownership over the lifecycle is about 50 per cent less for maintenance and operational expenses,” she said. “EVs reduce Enmax’s carbon footprint and also reduce our operating costs.”

Two Class 6 electric trucks have a custom-built body from Intercontinental Truck Body Ltd. and a chassis from International, a subsidy of Navistar. A Navistar spokesperson said the company is proud to support the utility in its EV adoption and a zero-emission future.

The pilot received just over $1 million from Emissions Reduction Alberta, a move to help “de-risk a promising technology by supporting its field testing in a real-world setting,” said Steve MacDonald, CEO of ERA, said in a statement.

Read more: Trudeau says Canada needs to do ‘more, even faster’ with electric vehicles

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A wholly-owned subsidiary of the City of Calgary, Enmax’s EV fleet joins city fleet EVs on Calgary streets.

In addition to its existing fleet of electric passenger vehicles, this year the city is planning to launch a pilot including fully-electric and hybrid trucks for garbage collection.

Calgary Transit is also set to launch their eBus pilot this year, to include 14 electric shuttle buses. Those buses would carry 22 people with a maximum range of about 200 km.

Also earlier this year, the city opened more Level 2 EV charging stations for light duty passenger vehicles, bringing the city-wide total to 145.

An Enmax worker enters one of the Calgary utility’s two medium duty electric vehicles, on April 11, 2022. handout / Enmax

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