The City of Campbell River is taking part in a pilot project that would see a Level 3 charging station put in the parking lot of the Community Centre.

Campbell River charged up for electric vehicle charging station

The city is working to secure a charging station at the Community Centre in order to encourage the use of electric vehicles.

At its Monday meeting, council directed city staff to sign on to a 10-year agreement with BC Hydro to be a part of a $2.5 million provincial initiative aimed at increasing charging availability in the region and the adoption of electric vehicles.

Under the agreement, Campbell River will host a Level 3 charging station, valued at approximately $100,000 at the Community Centre. Level 3 chargers can charge a battery from depleted to full in roughly 30 minutes, which is a step up from the Level 2 chargers the city installed at City Hall, the Sportsplex, Tyee Plaza and the Dogwood Operations Centre in 2012. Community partners also installed Level 2 chargers at Timberline Secondary/North Island College and in two locations at Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre.

Stefan Tylak, community energy advisor, said the city has seen increasing demand for the electric chargers, which prompted the City of Campbell River to pursue a spot in the pilot project.

“There has been a significant increase in the usage of the four existing Campbell River Level 2 EV chargers since 2013, with a total energy draw of 7,600 kWh,” Tylak said.

He said encouraging the use of electric vehicles, which include hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electrics, is a priority of the city’s.

“The City’s Master Transportation Plan encourages the use of alternative fuel vehicles, such as hybrids and EVs (electric vehicles) and suggests offering EV parking stalls and charging stations,” Tylak said. “The city is also a signatory to the BC Climate Action Charter, which commits B.C. municipalities to taking action to reduce corporate and community greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Transportation emissions account for approximately 65 per cent of total community GHGs in Campbell River, and given the low carbon intensity factor for electricity, electric vehicles provide an effective means of reducing GHGs.”

City staff evaluated several sites for the purpose of hosting the electric charging station, including the Maritime Heritage Centre, Cypress Street parking lot, Cedar Street parking lot and the Tyee Plaza parking lot.

The Community Centre was ultimately chosen because of its high visibility.

“The Campbell River Community Centre is a very central location that offers a high level of visibility and accessibility,” Tylak said. “Placing the charger in a visible and accessible area is desirable as it increases awareness and can encourage adoption; helps address range anxiety; and helps demonstrate that the city is a ‘champion’ community regarding GHG reductions.”

Implementation of the charging station will be 85 per cent funded by BC Hydro and project partners, with the city making up its share of $12,800 through the city’s Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program grant.

BC Hydro will own the charging infrastructure and be responsible for all power and maintenance costs.

Construction on the project is expected to begin this fall, with the charger operational by March 31 of next year.

kristend@campbellrivermirror.com