Drivers of electric vehicles in the West Kootenay concerned over "range anxiety" can breathe a little easier after FortisBC, in conjunction with Natural Resources Canada and B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources as part of the Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative, announced the company is adding a dozen new Direct Current Fast Charge (DCFC) stations to its EV charging network.
The West Kootenay is getting five new stations in Nelson, Rossland, New Denver, Nakusp and Kaslo.
As well there are more stations at strategic locations across the Kootenay and Okanagan regions, including the Kelowna International Airport.
“Our goal is to make sure electric vehicle drivers can travel with confidence across our electric service territory in B.C.’s southern interior,” said Doug Stout, vice president, market development & external relations, FortisBC in a media release.
“Putting charging stations where they are needed most helps drive electric vehicle adoption and is part of our Clean Growth Pathway, our action plan to help the province meet its clean energy goals.”
The two stations at Kelowna International Airport will be the first fast-charging stations available at a public location in Kelowna. FortisBC also has the following locations slated for construction over the summer: Rutland Centennial Park along Highway 33 in Kelowna, Kelowna Museum, Beaverdell, Osoyoos, Cawston, Rossland, Nelson, Kaslo, New Denver and Nakusp.
The West Kootenay stations are being built at these locations:
- 2045 Washington Street, Rossland, BC
- 315 Hall Street, Nelson, BC
- 315 Fourth Street, Kaslo, BC
- 712 Kootenay Street, New Denver, BC
- 92 - 6th Avenue North-West, Nakusp, BC
According to the manufacturer, these fast-charging stations are expected to charge a compact electric vehicle in about a half an hour, as compared to a Level-2 station that requires about three to four hours. The BC Utilities Commission-approved charge rate is $9 per half hour.
These fast chargers were 50 per cent funded by Natural Resources Canada and 25 per cent by B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources as part of the Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative. FortisBC funded the remaining amount and will own and maintain the stations.
“Electric vehicles are an important part of Canada’s clean energy future and we are committed to support initiatives that encourage widespread adoption of zero emissions vehicles,” said Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna — Lake Country.
“That is why we continue to invest in infrastructure needed for easy charging where we live, work and play as well as travelling from coast-to-coast.”
"Making the switch to electric vehicles is part of our government’s CleanBC plan to cut climate pollution, boost the economy, and create opportunities for communities across the province,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
“This new series of electric vehicle chargers in B.C’s interior will strengthen our existing charging network and make it easier to charge up.”
These stations bring the total FortisBC owns and operates to 17 stations across 14 communities. FortisBC continues to look for opportunities to grow this network. For more information about the FortisBC electric vehicle charging network, visit fortisbc.com/electricvehicle
Kelowna’s first publically available fast-charge stations were officially opened Monday by Phillip Elchrist, operations manager, Kelowna airport; Mr. Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna — Lake Country and Doug Stout, vice president, market development & external relations, FortisBC. — FortisBC photo