Colwood's first electric vehicle fast-charging station is now open and available for public use as a result of funding from the BC Clean Energy Vehicle Program and Government of Canada’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative. BC Hydro is leading the government funded project to deploy up to 30 direct current (DC) quick charging stations across B.C. by March 31, 2016. The Clean Energy Vehicle Program will also support an additional 20 DC stations across B.C. by March 31, 2018. The Colwood station is the 17th station installed.
“The Government of Canada congratulates the partners in this great initiative which gives drivers the tools they need to drive their green vehicles with assurance,” said the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources. “Having faster and more frequent charging stations will encourage more Canadians to turn towards clean transportation which will lead to cleaner air and healthier communities.”
The new fast charger is located at the Colwood Park & Ride on the Island Highway next to West Shore Parks & Recreation. It can recharge vehicles from zero to 80 per cent capacity in about 30 minutes. It is the first fast charger on Vancouver Island that can charge all makes of cars, offering dual charging heads to accommodate German and American cars as well as Asian and European models. It is one of only four fast chargers on Vancouver Island, with others located in Saanich, Duncan and Nanaimo.
“Congratulations Colwood, on the opening of your first electric vehicle fast charging station,” said Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett. “If we’re going to convince people to choose electric vehicles we need to make sure they have places to charge them up. Under our Clean Energy Vehicle Program, and in partnership with the federal government, B.C. communities and BC Hydro, we’re investing in expanding charging infrastructure all over the province.”
Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton is excited to be part of the growing network of electric vehicle charging stations. "The new fast charger is here to support people who are making the choice to lessen their impact on the environment, and it gives the City a competitive advantage in attracting forward thinking business owners," said Hamilton. "The location provides an important link between Victoria and Sooke, as well as for people travelling between the BC Ferries and the Malahat."
This new breed of fast-chargers are more effective than the Level 2 models which generally take about four hours to achieve the same charge as the fast charger provides in 30 minutes. Level 2 chargers are currently available for use in six locations around Colwood, at Colwood City Hall, the Juan de Fuca Library, Royal Roads University, next to London Drugs, at Royal Bay Bakery and at the Park & Ride.
The Park & Ride location is convenient for users who can use the charging time to grab a quick bite in nearby eateries.
”BC Hydro continues to support our customers in their choice of clean vehicle technologies with this latest addition to the network of electric vehicle charging stations on Vancouver Island,” said Keith Anderson, Vice President of BC Hydro Customer Service.
It is currently free to charge a vehicle at the fast charger, but a small fee will be implemented in the near future to recoup the costs of operating the station. Similar stations have a simple payment system that uses a reloadable card or a cell phone app.
One local business that has been eagerly awaiting the opening of the new fast charger is GeaZone Eco-Courier - a company that prides itself on being a zero-emission operation. They use electric assist cargo tricycles, electric cars, and 5-tonne electric trucks to deliver goods from Victoria to Nanaimo, and everywhere in between, as well as to Vancouver each week, without emitting any greenhouse gases.
"This charging station is exactly where we need it," said GeaZone owner Andrew Mitchell. "It allows us to continue meeting our clients' desire to progressively greenify their operations by linking customers from Victoria to Sooke and everywhere up-island.”
With a growing network of charging stations and provincial incentives, and more electric vehicle models on the market, now is a great time to purchase an electric vehicle. See www.pluginbc.ca for more information.
Sandra Russell, City of Colwood Corporate Communications Manager (778-677-5345)