News and Events

Southland VW and MHC partner on electric vehicle project

Electric vehicle in front of Medicine Hat College
March 27, 2019

Helping students and faculty gain access to new technology is just one of the benefits of a partnership between Southland Volkswagen and Medicine Hat College (MHC).

Southland VW is providing the college with a 2018 e-Golf for a year, at almost no cost, says project lead Merl Mayer.

“Electric vehicles are expected to become more common on roads and highways which means our students will encounter them in their future jobs. Our project will give our learners early access to this technology so they’re prepared for the workforce. It will also provide us an opportunity to work with industry partners to create innovation projects that will benefit our community.”

Mayer says he expects to see the e-Golf – soon to be visible on Medicine Hat’s road – touching students in programs ranging from automotives to information technology.

“When you think about it, there are many possible impacts of electric vehicles. We’ll learn everything we can, including, impact on electric bills created by charging at home and even at the new charging stations that are appearing in the community,” Mayer says.

MHC will also share impressions of driving an electric vehicle in southern Alberta. “I think people will be curious about a lot of things; what it’s like in the winter, how far you can drive and how much it will cost to charge. We’ll share what we learn.”

Bow Aaltonen, owner of Southland Volkswagen, mentions he is excited to see the results of this project.  

“Our Southland Volkswagen team is excited to participate in this joint venture with Medicine Hat College to understand the impact of electric vehicles in our daily lives,” says Aaltonen. “Volkswagen AG is dedicated to being the market leader in electrification, with a commitment to invest 43 billion dollars in electrification worldwide in 10 separate factories. In the next 24 months we’ll see the next generation of electric vehicles arrive in our Volkswagen showrooms, and this project will help us to understand how these vehicles will be received in southeast Alberta.”

At MHC, up to ten drivers will be part of the project, logging everything from temperature and range to their impressions of the car.

For more information, and to view the most recent findings from the project, visit