The City of Terrace will spend up to $10,000 on two electronic vehicle charging stations to join a charging network throughout the region.
The Charge North Electronic Vehicle (EV) network plan includes six regional districts and 37 municipalities across northern and central BC. The coalition and Community Energy Association (CEA), an independent climate and energy advisor to local governments, have been working on planning and establishing an electronic highway network since May 2018.
Their goal is to install 120 Level 2 charging stations covering more than 2,780 kilometres of highway from the south of Kamloops out to Haida Gwaii.
Money to cover 73 per cent of the total $5.3 million cost will come from the provincial CleanBC Community Fund.
The network is looking for the remainder of the money and so far wants local governments to be responsible for between 11 and 23 per cent of total project costs.
That would mean a one-time payment of $2,500 to $5,000 for each Level 2 charging station, and CEA would be responsible for maintaining and operating the stations for five years.
After that, it would then be up to the city to determine what to do with the stations, city works manager Rob Schibli told council Feb. 11.
“As they suggest the electric vehicle environment is going to change significantly in the next five to 10 years. Whether the station is, at that point, vital or obsolete has yet to be seen,” Schibli says.
The stations must be located on municipal property, have a power source close-by and be within walking distance of local amenities and services, and have good linkage to Hwy 16 in both directions.
Schibli says the need for two stations was decided with recommendations from the CEA based on the size of the Terrace community and number of existing stations.
Level 2 charging stations can charge an EV within 2 to 6 hours, much faster than a Level 1 (120-volt) charging station, which can take 8 to 12 hours. A Level 2 becomes necessary for owners who drive long distances or don’t have the time to recharge their car during the day.
These stations are compatible with most Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), but Tesla vehicles would need an adapter.
There are currently 9,000 electric vehicles in B.C., but more are anticipated to hit the road — as many as 300,000 are expected in the province by 2030. The province does have a goal of having every vehicle sold in B.C. by 2040 be zero emission.
“You need charging stations as an incentive in order to increase the range [of electric vehicles], my vote would be to be in favour that we take the initiative,” says Coun. Brian Downie. He mentioned that the Skeena Mall already has two Level 2 charging stations. “I think it’s a useful initiative.”
Coun. Jessica McCallum-Miller agreed and called electric vehicles “the way of the future.”
Janice Keyes, senior management at CEA, says the city would be getting the stations at a discounted price — each station normally costs approximately $10,000 with installation.
City administrator Alisa Thompson says conversations with the program’s senior management explained that the city would get reimbursed for electricity costs. It currently costs 48 cents per hour to charge, depending on the EV model.
“We’d probably get some, if not most of it back,” Thompson says.
It will be up to city staff to decide locations, but one possibility is either to replace the existing plug-in charging option at Terrace City Hall or put the new charging station beside it. That hybrid electric vehicle in the parking lot was given to the city by BC Hydro for a demonstration project in 2010.
Other options include having one along the Grand Trunk Pathway, the Sportsplex or beside the Visitors Information Centre. City staff
According to the project’s timeline, the installation of the EV stations would happen in 2020.
CEA will also speak to the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine at its Feb. 22 meeting about Charge North, who also contributed $9,000 towards the current planning study.