Representatives from Ford Motor Company of Canada and Barrie Ford gathered at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College on June 29 to celebrate collaboration with the college and the two-year lease renewal of two Ford electric vehicles (EVs). They also learned about the work students have been doing that will further develop technology and innovation in the field.
EV charging stations were installed in 2013 with support from PowerStream, in addition to Ford’s gift-in-kind vehicle leases. Since then, hundreds of Georgian students have undertaken major class projects related to EVs and the charging stations. These students are preparing to work with – and be leaders in – emerging technologies in the electrical, environmental and automotive sectors.
The charging stations have the ability to collect data related to transferring power from the power grid to electric cars, and vice versa.
Class projects have allowed for some great research and educational experiences, says second-year Mechanical Engineering Technology – Automotive Products Design student Ahmad-Hussein Hachem.
“The Ford-Georgian partnership has given me hands-on learning opportunities and the chance to conduct research into the dynamics of electric vehicles and how they perform on the road,” says Hachem. “This includes work in electric vehicle research, renewable energy and smart grid technology.”
So far, Hachem’s classmates have analyzed the effect that EVs create for electric utilities and offered recommendations to industry professionals on how to best manage vehicle charging patterns to optimize electricity use and the electricity distribution system. They’ve also studied how to use electric vehicles for energy storage as part of renewable energy management and the potential that load-leveling schemes have in lessening the impact on the power grid.
Ford’s investment in Georgian has also been beneficial to the environment.
Close to 66,000 kilometres have been logged in the donated Ford EVs since 2013 and it is estimated that in that time the cars have saved close to 5,000 litres of gas and approximately 47,000 kilograms of CO2. The solar panels atop the EV charging stations have also generated more than 19,000 kilowatts, which is enough to power 629 houses for one day.
Georgian uses EV monitoring and control systems to teach students about the impact of electric vehicles, renewable energy and electrical distribution, and protection and control systems.
Ford, a manufacturer of a full range of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, donated leases for the C-MAX Energi and a Focus Electric vehicle.