College Conducting Research on 2019 eGolf

March 29 2019, Charles Lefebvre

College Conducting Research on 2019 eGolf
“Southland and the college made an agreement to be able to lend us the car for a year to test what would actually happen with real life conditions with the car, and tell the public what’s actually going to be going on if they own an electric vehicle."

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The college began the research project in November. They have leased a Volkswagen e-Golf from Southland Volkswagen, and have been reviewing the vehicle and how it drives in the city.

“Southland and the college made an agreement to be able to lend us the car for a year to test what would actually happen with real life conditions with the car, and tell the public what’s actually going to be going on if they own an electric vehicle,” said Merl Mayer, a trades instructor at the college.

While electric vehicles only make up a small part of the Canadian market, their sales have been steadily growing. According to FleetCarma, which tracks electric vehicle sales, in the third quarter of 2018, nearly 35,000 electric vehicles were sold in Canada.

Volkswagen has also announced that starting in 2026, it will be shifting its focus from gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles.

Mayer says as staff at the college drive the vehicle, they will be compiling data, including the cost and length of time for charging a vehicle, the distance it can travel on a single charge, and how the vehicle handles different weather conditions, such as the winter.

“People definitely have questions about how the car is going to work in the winter, and electric vehicles,” he said. “There’s a lot of doubt. We’re just looking to get actual facts, so people have actual stuff to look at and see what they’re going to have to expect, or what they’re going to have to look forward to.”

Mayer said he had “no complaints” about driving the vehicle in the winter.

With the car on campus, Mayer adds it also has benefits for students, giving them a glimpse of technology they may be working with in the future.

“We've already had an opportunity in the automotive department to put it up on a hoist and actually look at stuff related to it, a little bit of technical data,” he said. “We're looking for a little bit more, but the automotive students get to actually have a look at, do some research on the future stuff that's coming.”

Mayer says a report on the vehicle will be put together in November.

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