Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

Rocky Mountain School District #6 is on its way to reducing its carbon footprint through the acquisition of electric vehicles. 

In a report to the board last week, director of operations Al Ure said senior management has identified carbon reduction as an annual initiative, noting the goal is to complete an assessment of the district’s carbon footprint.

“This information will provide us with a roadmap on where we can focus our efforts to reduce the impact we have on the environment,” Ure said.

He added the objective for 2024-25 would be to acquire two white fleet electric vehicles (EVs) and upgrade the charging infrastructure for EVs and buses. “The goal for 2025-26 would be to double the electric bus fleet to six buses.”

Ure noted the district received a $13,900 grant through Clean BC Initiative, which will help pay for the EV fleet assessment that cost $22,900. The remainder was paid by the district’s operations fund.

Ure said the grant marks a significant step towards achieving the district’s sustainability objectives. To support these efforts, the operations team is actively engaged in upgrading the electrical service in Golden and Kimberley, a crucial step in facilitating the transition to electric vehicles.

Ure pointed out the district has been putting money aside for the past few years for the purchase of EVs. 

“Once we are ready to move forward with installing more chargers, we will begin the procurement of two new vans,” he said, adding this is anticipated to take place this summer.

Ure said the province is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent by 2025, 40 per cent by 2030, and 60 per cent by 2040.

Under the Zero Emission Vehicles Act, the province has committed to 10 per cent of new light duty vehicle purchases being zero emission by 2025, 30 per cent by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2040.