Two new electric vehicle charging stations opened in Columbia Valley

Launch on Monday, December 11th

Submitted by Accelerate Kootenays

Electric vehicle drivers will now be able to travel to and within the Columbia Valley with this week’s launch of two new DC fast charging stations, one in Canal Flats and the other in Radium Hot Springs.

The Columbia Valley stations join the Cranbrook station as the only fast chargers currently available in the Kootenays. All are part of the broader Accelerate Kootenays initiative which will ultimately facilitate the installation of 13 fast chargers and 40 Level 2 chargers in communities across the region, resulting in over 1,800kms of connected electric vehicle (EV) travel. The fast charging stations are critical infrastructure to allow EV drivers to travel throughout the Kootenay region, connecting communities from Sparwood to Greenwood, and Revelstoke to Field.

The Radium Hot Springs station is conveniently located at the new community hall, currently under construction, and offers visitors easy access to restaurants, shops and attractions.

“Our community could not be more excited to host this important site as the gateway to Kootenay National Park, enabling travel in the East Kootenay from Alberta and Highway 1. We recognize there is an increasing number of electric vehicles on the road every year, and that reducing emissions on our roads benefits everyone,” said Radium Mayor Clara Reinhardt.

The fast charger in Canal Flats can be found beside the arena, conveniently located just off of Highway 93/95 and within walking distance to community assets.

“The siting of this fast charger in Canal Flats was strategic to ensure EV drivers have a charging option between Cranbrook and Invermere. Our location has always been a great strength, with lakes, rivers and mountains surrounding our village. We welcome the opportunity to bolster our local economy and help travellers discover the endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in Canal Flats,” noted Canal Flats Mayor Ute Juras.

Both of the Columbia Valley fast chargers are being installed by local electricians working with Powerpros Electric. Installations of all East Kootenay sites are being managed by Powertech Labs, and will be owned and maintained by BC Hydro as a long-term commitment to the B.C. communities that host the stations.

Representing Accelerate Kootenays partners, RDEK Chair Rob Gay said, “Our community-driven approach, guided by the priorities held by all Kootenay regional governments, transforms host communities from beneficiaries of the equipment, to partners and drivers of the initiative. We’re tremendously proud of the level of innovation and collaboration that went into creating a project that will benefit our environment and communities.”

Accelerate Kootenays is a two-year, $1.5 million project that is the result of an innovative collaboration between local and provincial governments as well as funding agencies that have worked together to address the charging infrastructure gap across the region.

The project has been made possible by an unprecedented local collaboration led by the Regional Districts of the East Kootenay, Central Kootenay, and Kootenay Boundary and includes in-kind and funding contributions from Columbia Basin Trust, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines, FortisBC, BC Hydro, and Powertech Labs. The Accelerate Kootenays project is facilitated by Community Energy Association.

For more information visit www.accelerateKootenays.ca.

FAST FACTS

• Fast charging stations allow a vehicle to charge from 0% to 80% in approximately 20 minutes. Level 2 charging stations take four to six hours for an 80% charge.

• 98% of B.C.’s electricity comes from clean, renewable sources. Approximately 50% of B.C.’s electricity is generated in the Columbia Basin.

• At BC Hydro rates, a Nissan Leaf can travel up to 100 kilometres for $3 in electricity costs.

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