The new Eve Park community in London, Ontario will include the world’s first automated parking tower with charging stations for shared electric vehicles (EVs). Ontario company s2e Technologies has received funding to develop the tower and is partnering with DYPC – South Korea-based pioneers of smart parking towers – to develop and integrate the charging and autonomous vehicle technology.
According to Ady Vyas, s2e’s vice-president for energy and mobility solutions, the tower will be based upon existing rotary carousel-style parking tower models already used in more than 30 nations worldwide. The towers take up a footprint of just two parking spots – six by eight metres – with drivers parking in an open spot on the ground level and vehicles rotated up via a simple chain mechanism. The reduced footprint is 88 per cent less than typical parking towers, which use ramps and driveways and other wasted space.
The first parking towers are expected to be in place by the end of next year with additional technologies, such as automated charging, self-driving vehicles, and valet-style dispatching with personalized pick-up, to be added in the future.
“There are people interested in this kind of sustainable living,” said Vyas. “They are interested in EVs, and they value convenience more than anything. I think we can provide them with convenience in that format.”
Plans are for 84 electric vehicle parking spaces in eight carousel-style parking towers and numerous charging options are being considered.
“We’re exploring everything from standard Level 2 charging to wireless charging to V2G (vehicle to ground) to automatic charging connections and then integrating these various technologies into high-density parking, because we believe that this is what the future looks like,” Vyas stated.
In Canada it typically costs $35,000 to $40,000 per spot for an above-ground parking structure and for an underground garage it’s $45- to $50,000. Parking towers are 40 per cent cheaper, says s2e.
“From a cost perspective, if you are in the middle of nowhere and you are happy with the urban sprawl, you can put an asphalt parking lot in. But when you talk about high-density residential areas, downtown cores, urban centres, space is at a premium,” said Vyas.
Parking towers in other jurisdictions are sometimes bare-bones steel and concrete, Vyas noted, but with Eve Park there will be attractive cladding.
“What we are trying to do, it has to blend in with the environment,” he said. “So what we are doing, it will be nicely cladded and made part of the overall architecture of the building.”