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New EVs, home energy tech, at Fully Charged LIVE Canada

VW's ID. BUZZ van parked in front of a surf shop
It won’t be available in Canada until late in 2024, but the VW ID. Buzz will be at the Fully Charged LIVE Canada EV and clean technology show September 8-10 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Polestar 3 and Volkswagen I.D. Buzz among the stars in Vancouver

The world's leading EV electric vehicle and clean energy technology show is coming to Vancouver September 8–10, and you can still get 50% off a standard ticket price to the show.

Just go to the Fully Charged LIVE Canada site and use the use the promo code BCHFIFTY as you purchase a one, two or three-day pass.

Fully Charged LIVE Canada, which is literally powered by BC Hydro, will feature a slew of electric vehicles from at least 13 automakers, including the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz and the new Polestar 3. There will be test drives of EVs, electric bikes and scooters, live sessions on EVs and home energy, the BC Hydro Community Team and Vancity home energy team on hand to dispense tips and advice on everything from heat pumps to net zero renovations, indoor air quality, and home renovation rebates and grants.

If Fully Charged is a mystery to you, check out a few of their videos on their YouTube channel. Recent videos include a review of the 2024 Tesla Model 3, the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz is here: Was it worth the wait?, and is this the electric car Honda should have made all along? And BC Hydro has been featured in a few, including This dam makes enough energy to run a city, and How to build a net zero carbon dream home.

Central to each Fully Charged LIVE show, whether it's in the U.K., Australia, the U.S. or Canada, are the live panel sessions [PDF]. There are more than 40 sessions at the Vancouver show, ranging from 'How much better can batteries become?', to 'Meatless – is it the end of the world?', to 'Everything you need to know about used EVs', to 'Reducing your energy bills'.

BC Hydro expertise in action at Fully Charged LIVE Canada

The Friday, Sept. 8 keynote session on climate action on B.C., set for 10:30 a.m., features Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation, BC Hydro President and CEO Chris O’Riley, and Fully Charged CEO Robert Llewellyn.  But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Our community team booth will feature a cool virtual reality exploration of how water powers B.C., plus interactive heat pump and electric vehicle charging displays. You can learn about rebates and tips to help homes, businesses and vehicles switch to clean electricity and save on energy efficient upgrades. . And we’ll be busy at the on-site test drive event – where more than 30 EVs will be available to drive  – helping people to fully understand how to use our fast charging stations.

Other live sessions featuring our experts include:

  • 'Heat pumps: A technology for all seasons (and circumstances)?', 11:15 Friday  (Gary Hamer, residential specialist engineer)
  • 'Switching fleets to ZEV', 2:15 p.m. Friday (Jason Scultety, fleet electrification lead)
  • 'Trains, planes and nautical vessels - the electrification of passenger vehicles', 2:30 p.m. Friday (Kymm Girgulis, key account manager, transportation and infrastructure).
  • 'Can wind, solar, and storage save us?', noon Saturday (Colin MacIntosh, engineering team lead, future grid and modernization)
  • 'Operation Adaptation - preparing for fire, floods and excessive heat', 1:45 p.m. Saturday (Ben Peco, senior manager, security & emergency management)
  • 'Can we ever fix public transport', 3:15 p.m. Saturday (Cory Farquharson, key account manager)
  • 'Home energy hacks', 4 p.m. Saturday (Tim Mosley, senior program manager, innovation and delivery)
  • 'No driveway, no problem', 11:15 a.m. Sunday (Mike Wenzlaff, senior program manager, EV services)
  • 'Energy efficiency vs. energy conservation', 11:30 a.m. Sunday (Diana Stephenson, senior VP, customer and corporate affairs)
  • 'Electric vehicle charging, home and away', 1:45 p.m. Sunday (Mike Wenzlaff, senior program manager, EV services)
  • 'Getting a job in energy and mobility', 3:15 p.m. Sunday (Diana Stephenson, senior VP, customer and corporate affairs)

Get help from the Home Energy Advice Team sponsored by Vancity 

Vancity is sponsoring the Home Energy Advice Team at Fully Charged and bringing their partners from City Green to help people understand some of the steps they can take towards a greener future. We got to chat with Emily Pearson to find out more.

Emily Pearson’s role at Vancity is to help the member-owned credit union reach net-zero by 2040. Among other things, Vancity is working to reduce emissions from the things they finance, such as home mortgages and businesses loans, and creating products and services its members can use to help them take action on climate change.

And Vancity will be out in full force at Fully Charged LIVE Canada.

“The Fully Charged event is filled with an audience of changemakers, and we’re excited to connect with them,” says Pearson. “Events like these are important to help educate and raise awareness about the steps everyone can take to make a better life for themselves and the planet.”

Pearson adds that understanding your home and how it works as a system can be challenging. She recommends getting your home assessed, and she invites those attending Fully Charged LIVE to visit the Home Energy Advice Team (Sponsored by Vancity) to ask questions and learn more. Vancity members can also talk to home energy experts through the credit union’s free Home Energy Advice program, a partnership with City Green.

Pearson will be part of a Fully Charged LIVE Canada panel discussion – set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10 – that focusses on how to persuade friends and family to make a change.

“Starting conversations by connecting to things that matter to someone and then adding climate action as the cherry on top can be a good way to get people interested in making a change,” she says.

Why did Fully Charged pick Vancouver? B.C. could be the next Norway

For a number of reasons, it’s tempting to compare the clean energy paths of Norway and B.C.

Each boasts a clean energy advantage, leaning heavily on hydroelectric power for electricity:  B.C. at 91% and Norway at 88%. And while the province of B.C., located on Canada’s west coast, is about 2.6 times the size of Norway, the region’s populations are almost identical at about 5.4 million.

While most Norwegian cities sit about 10 degrees north of B.C.’s biggest cities, we still experience similar temperatures and heating needs. And thanks to climate change, both regions are near the top of the list of areas where homes and businesses are facing the biggest increase in the number of days that require cooling.

And then there are electric vehicles. When it comes to EV adoption, no country in the world beats Norway, where more than 79% of new car registrations in 2022 were for battery electrics. By comparison, B.C. looks to be a laggard at only 18% of new car sales going electric, but that 18% isn’t just the highest in Canada, but makes B.C. the EV adoption leader in North America.

So it’s no surprise that Fully Charged selected Vancouver as the location of its first Fully Charged LIVE Canada show.

“Why can't British Columbia imitate what's happened in Oslo?,” asks Fully Charged CEO Dan Caesar. “For me, Norway is a clear model for B.C., almost like there should be a twinning of Oslo and Vancouver. There are similarities in climate as well as in wealth.”

BC Hydro powers B.C. with its large integrated hydroelectric system that generates 98% clean electricity. In 2021, we adopted an electrification plan that outlines how we will meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 900,000 tonnes by April 2026. The plan includes a focus on new programs and incentives to help British Columbians make the switch from fossil fuels to clean hydroelectricity to power our homes, businesses, and vehicles.

“Stop Burning Stuff”, the clean energy mantra Fully Charged embraces, is not yet in vogue in B.C.  But in practice, it’s happening.

“Vancouver’s been on our list for a while, but we’re going there at least two to three years earlier than we originally intended,” says Caesar when asked how Vancouver got chosen for the Canadian show. “It was BC Hydro’s leadership that brought us to Vancouver. They had the foresight to get in touch with us and say, ‘We want a show here’.”