Highway 3 goes green

Electric vehicle charging network launched in the Kootenays.

Electric vehicle charging stations will be installed at four locations in the Elk Valley and South Country as part of a two-year $1.8 million project to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles across the Kootenays.

A Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC) on Highway 3 near the Pump and Pantry in Jaffray is one of 13 planned across the region.

Forty Level 2 charging stations will also be installed by the end of summer, including in Fernie and Elkford, with both DCFC and Level 2 charging options to be located in Sparwood beside the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Centre.

Once completed, electric vehicle drivers will be able to travel from Sparwood to Greenwood, Revelstoke to Field and everywhere in between, via a fast charging corridor spanning more than 1800 kilometres.

The network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure is designed to enhance tourism and economic opportunities for Kootenay communities, while encouraging residents to transition to cleaner fuel vehicles.

In a Canadian first, Accelerate Kootenays is a collaboration between all levels of government, businesses and funding agencies, and was launched in Creston on May 25.

“British Columbians are keen to adopt electric vehicles and increasing charging stations to all corners of the province is essential to that adoption,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

“The Government of British Columbia is pleased to be a part of these initiatives as well as making electric vehicle purchases more affordable. Reducing carbon emissions by increasing clean energy vehicle use is part of our plan to build a better B.C.”

The project has been made possible by an unprecedented local collaboration led by the regional districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary, and includes in-kind and funding contributions from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund and the Government of Canada, Columbia Basin Trust, B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Teck, FortisBC, BC Hydro and Powertech Labs.

Teck’s Senior Vice President of Sustainability and External Affairs Marcia Smith said the mining company was proud to be a part of an innovative partnership that would benefit the Kootenays, including its many employees in the region.

“Teck is working to support the transition to a low-carbon economy through initiatives like this one, and by providing the metals and minerals required for clean technology such as electric vehicles,” she said.

For more information, including a map of charging stations, visit Acceleratekootenays.ca.

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