by Eric Cohen
Calgary – nicknamed “Cowtown” – is Canada’s largest producer of natural gas and oil, but the energy section that represents a significant portion of Calgary industries also includes many clean technologies. Solar, wind, bioenergy, and geothermal all contribute to the lifeblood of the cosmopolitan city that’s home to more than a million people. Andrew Lipp saw the burgeoning growth of solar energy and quickly moved his electrical contracting business in that direction. And, as customers install solar panels on their homes, more and more are asking for those panels to be able to support chargers for electric vehicles.
“Solar – and other technologies – are fueling our future. I saw this area of business growing and I wanted to be part of that future,” Andrew explained. As more of his customers want EV chargers installed in their homes, Andrew is at the forefront of the EV future. “I don’t yet have an EV but it’s in my plan. As I work on customers’ homes and install chargers, I’m learning what works – and what doesn’t.” As more homeowners purchase EVs, Andrew has seen his customers spend 1/10th of what they used to spend on gasoline. For him, the cost savings on his work van, alone, would drop from $75/week to $30/week. “The savings of going from a gas engine to electric are real. The growth of EVs is creating an ongoing need for chargers throughout the province and, although Alberta is about 12 months behind the US in technology, chargers are becoming more readily available in Calgary. I can’t wait for them to be everywhere.”
As Andrew plans for his EV purchase, he’s already thinking about wireless charging. “I don’t want to depend on things that depend on me. As owner of a business, I’m continually multi-tasking. Phone, estimates, orders … you name it. It would be so easy to forget to charge. I don’t want to start my workday by rushing to get a charge because I forgot to plug in. With wireless charging, I don’t have to worry about it. The convenience factor alone is worth double the price of a plug-in charger.”
Andrew also likes that wireless charging disconnects the point of use from the power source. “I’m not keen on plugging my car directly into a power source. Wireless charging is much safer. It also eliminates the vagrancy problem, which – unfortunately – is growing here. I look forward to the day when I don’t have to go into my garage but, rather, simply pull up in front of my home and begin charging. I hate the idea of having to run cords across my yard. I would simply park. And charge.”