TWO New Chargers at Franco-Cité School in Ottawa
”I just got my G2 (learners’ permit), let me test drive your Tesla ! PLEASE …” many students asked as the Model S was plugged in into the newly installed charging stations in the parking lot in front of Franco-Cité school in Ottawa.
Since I bought my 2012 Chevrolet Volt, I have invested time to convince my employer to install an EV charger at my work place. I have talked on many occasions with the school principal to study the project. Slowly, one person at a time, I convinced people who then talked about this project whenever possible.
As the school board, CECCE, started the construction of 6 new classrooms and a third gymnasium at École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité, I was invited to explain my idea. I jumped on this opportunity to explain the need for EV drivers. I was then convinced that something positive will happen from this point on. Patience pays off !
Almost a year later, on Earth Day 2014 (April 22), I had the great pleasure to participate in the inauguration of the first TWO new chargers at Franco-Cité in Ottawa. We now have two Sun Country Highway’s LCS-60. They each provide 48 amps and 197 volts. The school is funded by public finances, therefore the chargers require payment. It will be completed by the driver’s cell phone using the app MobileNow.
That day started with rain. Plan B ! We had to reorganize our plans and have the official speeches inside. The best place was in the high school mechanic garage. While we were cleaning and setting up the garage for the occasion, Stéphane Sylvester, Paul Camiré and Gérard Gravel met the mechanic teacher’s class and talked about electric vehicles. Of course, the highlight was admiring the vehicles and taking pictures. The students had many questions and were happy about this opportunity.
Beside a fossil car on blocks, a black Chevrolet Volt, a white Tesla Model S and a black Nissan Leaf near the garage door surrounded guests during the ceremony. We invited the media, school board officials, teachers, students (our future EV drivers) and electric vehicles owners. Perfect timing, the rain stopped. After the speeches, we then went outside where two Grade 12 students did the first school EV plug-in on my friend’s Tesla Model S and my red Volt.
Weeks and days before the inauguration, I invited many EV owners. 15 accepted : most of them from Ottawa and Gatineau. Stéphane Daoust from Éco Route Québec (Sun Country Highway) drove from Shawinigan, Sylvain Juteau from RoulezÉlectrique.com drove from Trois-Rivières and Al S drove from Québec. The front parking was fully occupied by all 15 electric vehicles. Students and adults were all smiles, asking questions and admiring the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Model S and Smart EV. The adults were invited to test drive the electric vehicles. They smiled even more, while students were jealous !!
Now, every day, students will see an electric car plugged in. In a few years, they will have this picture in mind as they will buy their first vehicle… electric vehicle !
The event was a huge success ! Thank you to Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est for its vision on environment. BRAVO !
With your help, I will keep convincing people and business owners/officials all over Canada to install EV chargers and buying electric vehicles. We will do this because it is TimeToElectrify !!