Electric buses to help run PEI warming center in emergencies

The Prince Edward Island government is working with The Lion Electric Company (NYSE: LEV) (TSX: LEV) ("Lion"), a leading manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles, to be first in Canada to use these vehicles to respond to disaster-related power outages.

Using vehicle-to-grid (“V2G”) technology available on LionC electric school buses, the North Rustico Lions Club, which was used as a warming center during the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, can be powered by one of the LionC electric school buses in the event of a power outage.

“This community centre, along with countless others, was there for Islanders during the toughest times, and now North Rustico Lions Club can do even more in an emergency using this first in Canada technology,” said Environment, Energy and Climate Action Minister Steven Myers. “Thanks to Lion, we have taken a big step in our government’s commitment to building a generation power network that will ensure essential services can continue during power outages.”

By the end of May, it is expected that PEI will have a total of 82 LionC electric school buses. Over the next five years, 125 more electric school buses will be added to the fleet. Sustainable transportation, including the electrification of cars and buses is a key pillar in the province’s nation-leading net zero targets.

“Lion Electric is proud to be part of this project aimed at providing power-to-building in case of emergency, through its LionC electric school buses,” said Benoit Morin, Canadian VP of Bus Sales at Lion Electric. “Electrification of transportation is more than transporting goods and people. In this case, LionC school buses will be used as energy storage for the benefit of the population. It feels good knowing Lion vehicles could play an important role in the community.”

Using Lion’s V2G technology, school buses could be charged when the demand for power is lower, such as overnight. In the situation of an extreme weather event, such as a hurricane, V2G enabled chargers, often referred to as bidirectional, can draw power from the batteries on the vehicles to power an emergency heating center that loses power from the grid. 

This is the first step in a pilot project that could see V2G used to lower demand from other sources of generations that come from fossil fuels. The technology could also be used to store renewable energy from PEI’s abundant wind and solar resources during periods of low demand. 

The North Rustico Lions Club will be the pilot site for this vehicle-to-building project with a goal to roll it out on a larger scale in other Island communities.
“We are very excited to be the pilot site for this initiative. Our community was hit hard by Fiona and the Lions Club and EMO volunteers stepped up to create a community hub where folks could have a warm meal, charge their devices and fill up on water,” said Andrea Greenan, deputy mayor of North Rustico. “As we expect more frequent and increasingly intense hurricanes in the future, we are looking forward to the ease of use the busses will provide while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.”

To learn more about this and other initiatives to help PEI get to net zero by 2040, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/netzero 

Media contact:
Katie MacDonald
Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action


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