Bentall Kennedy plans on rolling out five more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the area following its first installation in the area at the Credit Landing Shopping Center in Mississauga.
“Right now we’re just in the process of confirming those location sites,” Bentall Kennedy’s regional director of marketing retail services, Dominic Imbesi told YourMississaugaBiz.com. “And we’re strategic at picking properties that are convenient to our shoppers, such as those off a highway intersection.”
He said the ideal situation and Bentall Kennedy’ long-term goal would be to have them across all the company’s properties along the highway.
The move is one of company’s newest sustainable initiatives. “It’s a win-win,” Imbesi said. “And it’s another opportunity for us to take on the status of being one of the first.”
Currently, the GE Bentall Kennedy charging station near Mississauga Road, located in front of the Port Credit Optometry office, is free for shoppers to use.
Director of technical services Ari Dimitraklas said the location was chosen for its proximity to the very busy Lakeshore Road West area and for its increased visibility due to Google Earth. “We thought it was a pretty strategic move having it there,” he said.
Dimitraklas said there is no counter on the GE machine to track the number of uses. “But from the tenants we’ve talked to there have been cars there charging,” he said.
While the company has done meter readings, a hydro study will be conducted later this year to see how much it is used. “But because they use such little energy to charge a car, we won’t be able to get those numbers until really later on,” he said. “Like six or seven months into it.”
Dimitraklas estimated the station was installed in January and said there were no specific expectations about its monthly usage.
Imbesi said the project was more about the visibility of the charge station itself and the company’s shift towards more environmentally friendly practices. “I think the overall objective was just to send out a message to the community that Bentall Kennedy practices sustainable initiatives through its day-to-day operations,” he said.
Bentall Kennedy certainly isn’t alone in this thinking. Oakville-based Tim Hortons recently installed two EV charging stations at one of their restaurants on Wyecroft Road in Oakville and at its head office on Sinclair Road.
Tim Hortons manager of sustainable design, John Macey, said there’s definitely opportunity in Oakville, as the area has a much higher number of EVs than a lot of other parts in the GTA.
In fact, the EV charging stations are so much of a draw customers are specifically driving out of their way to use them. “I’ve seen several Teslas, several Nissan Leafs and the one you see most commonly are the Chevy Volts,” Macey said.
Tim Hortons is also working with Ford and Toyota to test drive vehicles corporately, such as the Ford C-Max and the Toyota Prius plug-in. “It’s gives us the opportunity to test them for potential fleet vehicles,” Macey said. “It also gives us the data on the stations so we can help figure out the energy consumption on the building.”
With about 50 charges already recorded for the month of April, the project has already exceeded expectation of 10-20 charges per month in its first 60 days. “We don’t have any vehicles, so that’s just regular use by guests,” Macey said. “Average charge time is about 40 minutes and that’s great because it gives the guest an opportunity to come in, charge their vehicle and then enjoy a lunch or coffee and donut in the restaurant.”