Electric vehicle and smart heating opportunities

electric car

In order to attain greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, Yukon Government aims to have 4800 electric vehicles on the road and 1200 air-sourced heat pumps installed in residential buildings by 2030. To meet these goals, an investigation of the impacts of these technologies upon Yukon’s electrical distribution system must be completed. Yukon Government, ATCO Electric Yukon and Yukon Energy Corporation have requested for Northern Energy Innovation (NEI) to pursue a set of studies that will examine the technical challenges of integrating these new technologies upon the distribution network and identify cost-effective strategies to respond to this challenge; ultimately advancing Yukon Government’s goals for electric vehicles and smart heating adoption within the territory.


Photo Credit: K. Nandini Tornekar  

Project description

This 2-year research project builds off NEI’s existing expertise in modelling northern remote power systems. In year 1, NEI’s research team, in partnership with utility partners, Yukon Energy Corporation and ATCO Electric Yukon, and with support from Yukon Conservation Society and Yukon Government, will model and simulate all distribution systems on Yukon’s distribution network, the system that connects many of Yukon’s communities to the territory’s hydroelectric generation facilities. These studies will allow NEI to identify areas of the system that could be vulnerable to an uptake of high-power clean energy technology, such as electric vehicle fast chargers and smart heating units. NEI will then model these vulnerable sections in greater detail to identify the specific technical issues that may arise and propose responsible, innovative, and cost-effective solutions to NEI’s utility partners, thereby facilitating Yukon Government’s overall objectives.

In year 2 of this project, NEI’s research team will expand their scope to modelling Northwest Territories’ distribution systems. Northwest Territories’ utilities, NT Energy and Northwest Territories Power Corporation, foresee similar challenges to those faced by NEI’s Yukon partners occurring within their jurisdiction, as Northwest Territories Government develops a suite of policies targeting electric vehicle and smart heating adoption within the territory. The goals and benefits to NEI’s utility partners in the Northwest Territories will be largely similar to those of the Yukon utility partners. 

Project team

Dr. Michael Ross, Industrial Research Chair, Northern Energy Innovation (NEI) , YukonU Research Centre (YRC)
Jamie McLeish, Research Assistant, NEI, YRC
Patrick Giles, Research Assistant, NEI, YRC
Joe Collier, Project Coodinator, NEI, YRC
Matt Ooms, Senior Research Professional, NEI, YRC

John Ross, Research Analyst, NEI, YRC
Geoff Cartright, Research Analyst, NEI, YRC
Simon Geoffroy-Gagnon, Research Analyst, NEI, YRC
Andrew MacMillan, Research Assistant, NEI, YRC


Partners and funders


  • Yukon Government
  • ATCO Electric Yukon
  • Yukon Energy Corporation
  • Northwest Territories Power Corporation
  • Yukon Conservation Society