The City of Victoriaville, in partnership with Cleo, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, is poised to make history in the Canadian municipal sector. Together, they are pioneering the deployment of V2X (vehicle-to-everything) electric vehicle charging stations, offering an innovative and strategic approach to decarbonization.

These charging stations can power municipal buildings during peak periods or power outages, thereby enhancing the resilience of the city’s infrastructure. If the V2X trial proves successful, Victoriaville plans to roll out multiple bidirectional charging hubs across the city.

“As the first municipality in Canada to test V2X technology in the context of urban resilience, Victoriaville is positioning itself as a leader in sustainable development. This innovative project has significant potential for replication in other municipalities and institutions. We can be very proud of this initiative,” said Antoine Tardif, Mayor of Victoriaville.

The most notable aspect of the Victoriaville project is the integration of V2X technology into urban resilience strategies, enabling electric vehicles to serve not only as charging units but also as energy reserves and providers. As a result, vehicle batteries can now serve as energy reservoirs, allowing charging stations to power municipal buildings during peak periods or power outages. This breakthrough represents a significant milestone in local energy management and distribution.

By choosing to use electric vehicles as the primary backup instead of traditional diesel generators, Victoriaville is making a significant stride toward sustainability. While diesel generators are efficient, their emissions are harmful to the environment. V2X charging stations, on the other hand, provide a clean, green backup solution. Backup generators will not be removed; they will be retained as a secondary option to ensure greater power reliability over extended periods.

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“Victoriaville’s investment in this technology exemplifies a responsible and forward-thinking approach. By addressing current electric vehicle charging needs and enhancing infrastructure resilience for future challenges, the city is positioning itself as a pioneering municipality committed to advancing electric mobility, implementing smart energy management, and strengthening community resilience,” said Sophie Séguin-Lamarche, director of the city’s Sustainable Development Office.

Supported by the Défis Innovation / volet villes intelligentes et durables, this $356,200 project receives a 50 per cent  subsidy from IVÉO.

Responding to the call for proposals, Cleo, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec specializing in charging solutions and dedicated to helping managers electrify their fleets, embarked on its first V2X project. The aim is to develop new skills and leverage its charging management expertise to test the innovation’s impact on fleet operations. Cleo will provide its expertise in V2X technology testing and add a bidirectional charging functionality to its smart charging management platform to meet the partnership’s requirements. This will enable the City of Victoriaville to monitor and potentially regulate electricity transfers between its vehicles and designated buildings during Phase 1.

“Collaborating with innovative partners to drive Quebec’s energy transition is part of Cleo’s core mission. We’re thrilled to support the City of Victoriaville in enhancing building resilience and reducing the carbon footprint of its service operations. This inaugural V2X project allows us to showcase the technology’s potential in the province, underscore the benefits of fleet electrification for Hydro-Québec’s grid, and explore new energy management strategies,” said Jeff Desruisseaux, CEO of Cleo.

Three municipal buildings have been selected for the installation of V2X charging stations for electric vehicles: City Hall, the Charles-Édouard-Mailhot Library and the fire station.

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For Phase 1 of the project, City Hall was chosen as the site for the installation of the first charging station because it is located in a high-density residential and commercial area with a high potential for “charging orphans” who are unable to install a charging station at home. This location provides an ideal environment to test the technology’s efficiency and resilience. In addition, pending the success of subsequent project phases, the V2X hub would be able to provide power to the Emergency Operations Centre at City Hall in the event of a widespread power outage.

This initiative serves as a catalyst for development and underscores Victoriaville’s commitment to a greener, more connected future. It reinforces the city’s profile as a leader in innovation and sustainable development while contributing to the quality of life and prosperity of its community.

Featured image: (L to R) Sophie Séguin-Lamarche, Director of Victoriaville’s Sustainable Development Office, Jeff Desruisseaux, CEO of Cleo, Antoine Tardif, Mayor of Victoriaville, and Yves Arcand, City Manager of Victoriaville.

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