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City to get electric car charging stations

Ten electric vehicle charging stations are expected to be installed around the city this January.

Council approved the infrastructure at its meeting Tuesday night after hearing a presentation from the Pembina Institute, which partnered with the city to secure $40,000 from the provincial government to install the charging stations.

Alison Bailie, a senior technology and policy advisor for Pembina, which provides policy leadership and education on climate change and energy issues, told council the stations would help the city promote sustainability.

“We see electric vehicles as clean energy solutions,” said Bailie, who noted the charge stations are for hybrid vehicles (run partly on a battery and partly on fuel) such as the Toyota Prius, high-speed electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt, as well as low speed electric vehicles which run purely on the power of a battery and cannot exceed 40 kilometres per hour.

Council approved the use of low-speed electric vehicles on city roads not more 50 km/hr earlier this year.

Bailie said having the charge stations should help persuade those on the fence to buy an electric vehicle, plus it will give those who already own an electric car peace of mind.

“The main reason for putting the stations in is so people who own an electric vehicle or are thinking of buying an electric vehicle know there are places they can charge the battery if they’re out and it’s getting near the end of its charge,” Bailie said.

To charge a battery takes between 30 minutes to one hour. Typically owners would leave their car to charge while shopping, at work, or at school.

Taking that into consideration, the city is looking at installing two charges stations at each of five different locations: Tyee Plaza, Dogwood Operations Centre, Strathcona Gardens, North Island College/Timberline Secondary School.

Bailie said though the entire community was considered for potential sites, it was determined that the northern and southern ends would be best looked at in the future because central locations were more feasible under the short time frame.

The city has until March 31, 2013 to have the charging stations installed before the grant money expires.

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