An electric vehicle charging station in Port Alberni similar to the two stations that will soon be installed in Nelson.

An electric vehicle charging station in Port Alberni similar to the two stations that will soon be installed in Nelson.

Nelson to get two electric car charging stations

The service will be free for the first two years.

Nelson Hydro will soon be installing two public electric vehicle charging stations downtown.

“The target demographic would be tourism and it would be a level two charger, which means you can get an 80 per cent charge in about three hours,” the city’s energy consultant Fiona Galbraith told council on Monday night.

“So you can visit Nelson, park your car for a couple of hours, have lunch, and be on your way,” she said.

Each station will accommodate two vehicles at once. Site selection is still underway, and Galbraith said the most logical location for tourists would be at the CPR station, which soon will be the visitor centre. Other sites under consideration are both on Victoria Street: between Kootenay and Stanley streets, and between Falls and Kootenay Streets.

Galbraith said the criteria for site selection include visibility, proximity to local shops and services, security, proximity to a power source, and parking demand.

Standard practice in these early days of electrical vehicle charging, according to Galbraith, is to offer the service free of charge.

“Energy consumption and usage of the charging system will be monitored and this information can further inform rate structures in the future,” she said.

The new charging stations will connect Nelson to a growing network of chargers within both the province and the region. There are already charging stations in Balfour, Castlegar, Creston, and Trail.

Nelson Hydro has ordered the equipment for the charging system and will install it in the next few months at a total cost of $20,000.