Councillor Colleen Evans (second from left), Mayor Andy Adams and Ted Olynyk of BC Hydro (right) shine up Kathy Denton’s electric vehicle while it’s plugged into the new fast charger at the Campbell River Community Centre. Photo courtesy City of Campbell River

Campbell River Community Centre gets new high-speed vehicle charging station

Trevena: Provincial government hopes to connect entire province with network of charging stations

Electric vehicle owners can now fully charge their cars in less than 30 minutes at the Campbell River Community Centre.

The new direct current (DC) electric vehicle charger installed by BC Hydro this spring is part of a $2.5 million provincial initiative, with investments from BC Hydro, the Province of B.C. and Natural Resources Canada, as well as funding from the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program grant, according to the city release on the installation.

“This infrastructure ensures Campbell River is part of the growing electric vehicle highway on Vancouver Island and throughout the province,” Mayor Andy Adams says in the release. “We appreciate the support from BC Hydro and provincial and federal project partners, who provided funding, coordinated the installation and are covering the ongoing operating and maintenance costs of the charging station.”

Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr says Natural Resource Canada’s involvement is part of getting the country closer its emission goals while also making life more affordable.

“We are paving the way to a low-carbon future by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating cleaner, greener communities,” Carr says. “This project is part of the Government of Canada’s investment to expand British Columbia’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, helping to make zero-emission transportation more accessible and affordable for Canadians.”

North Island MLA and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena says she hopes that there will eventually be “a seamless network of charging stations connecting the whole province.”

“The transportation sector accounts for about 39 per cent of B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is why we want to make it easier for people to choose cleaner transportation options, like electric vehicles,” Trevena says.

BC Hydro senior vice president of integrated planning Maureen Daschuk says the company is anticipating more than 300,000 electric vehicles on B.C. roads by 2030, “and we want to be sure we have the infrastructure in place to support that growth.”

Electric vehicle owners can currently use this service free of charge, and the DC fast charger will fully charge an average electric vehicle in less than 30 minutes. It is compatible with the CHAdeMO (Japanese and some Korean automakers) and CCS (American and European automakers) fast-charging standards. Tesla owners, however, do need to use an adapter to make use of the charger.

“The number of electric vehicles in Campbell River is increasing, with a variety of electric vehicles on local roads, and we anticipate an electric vehicle car gathering during our popular Canada Day event,” says Amber Zirnhelt, the city’s long range planning and sustainability manager. “Expanding our electric vehicle infrastructure makes Campbell River part of the growing island-wide network, and supports objectives outlined in both the Sustainable Official Community Plan and the Community Energy and Emissions Plan that encourage low-carbon transportation options.”

Level 2 electric vehicle chargers are available at City Hall, Dogwood Operations Centre, North Island College, Discovery Harbour Centre, and the Tourism Centre and take four to six hours to fully charge.

The city has entered into a 10-year agreement with BC Hydro to allow for the operation of the charging station at the Community Centre. BC Hydro is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the station. Staff at the Community Centre will have information on how to use the charging station, in the event that people have questions.