At its April 21 meeting, the Regional District of Central Kootenay board agreed to write a letter of support for the development of a network of electric car charging stations across the region.
The Fueling Change Initiative will “accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (plug in hybrid and battery electric) in the Kootenay,” according to materials presented to the board by Trish Dehnel of the Community Energy Association, which is spearheading the project.
“This is a region of BC characterized by relatively small and dispersed communities, with some of the highest transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions in the province,” Dehnel wrote. “The initiative will pilot the effectiveness of a comprehensive, collaborative approach to the transition toward low and zero emission vehicles in a rural context.”
The initiative hopes to increase tourism by electric vehicle drivers, address the gap between charging stations in the Kootenays, facilitate the transition to low emission vehicle ownership locally, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The association is working in partnership with BC Hydro and FortisBC and is developing funding proposals to the Columbia Basin Trust, the provincial government, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The RDCK’s letter of support is intended to bolster those funding applications.
Currently there are Level 2 charging stations in Rock Creek, Midway, Greenwood, Grand Forks, Christina Lake, Rossland, Trail, Salmo, Creston, Cranbrook, Fernie, and Invermere. Level 2 stations are appropriate for commuters and short distance travellers. The Fueling Change initiative envisions an expanded mix of Level 2 and Level 3 stations to allow for both short and long distance travel. Level 3 stations are used for electric battery vehicles.
“The current modeling suggests that 10 to 12 Level 3 and approximately 40 Level 2 stations would be required to address ‘range anxiety’ and to create a network that is robust and reliable,” Dehnel wrote.
The budget for the project is $800,000. The association will return to the RDCK board in the future to ask for a funding contribution of $10,000 to $15,000.
A detailed outline of the initiative is attached below.