It costs as little as $7 to charge an EV at home. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Portable EV charger coming to Elk Valley this summer

The charger is intended to help locals learn more about the new technology and encourage EV adoption

A mobile electric vehicle (EV) charger will be deployed in the Elk Valley this summer as a way to spread awareness of new green technology and its practicality across B.C. and encourage EV adoption locally.

An initiative of an Vancouver-based company that develops charging technology and the Community Energy Association, the new charger is fully-funded by a $232,000 contribution from Teck.

“The charger will operate in the region year-round, providing the local communities with an opportunity to learn more about the applicability of battery and electric vehicle technology in the region—including its effectiveness in cold weather and in rural communities,” said a Community Energy Association release.

The charger will be trailer-based, and will operate between Fernie, Elkford and Sparwood over the coming summer.

It will have the capacity to charge two EVs at the same time, with two Level 2, 7-kilowatt chargers capable of providing 75km of range per hour of charging to EVs.

Megan Lohmann of the Community Energy Association said that the East Kootenay was well-positioned to play a leadership role in transitioning to clean energy.

“We have unique regional strengths in our industrial and recreational sectors; leveraging those can put us at a competitive advantage for the low carbon future.”

Mark Rabin, who is CEO of the Vancouver-based electric charger technology company Portable Electric said the mobile chargers were silent, emission-free and could be fully charged themselves both on and off the grid.

“In addition to helping all EV drivers avoid range anxiety, our collaboration with Teck and the Community Energy Association will help drive Canada to a greener economy and put the Kootenays in a leadership position towards electrification,” he said.

Local employer Teck provided the funds for the project.

“We are excited to help launch Canada’s largest mobile EV charger in the East Kootenays this summer and support charging infrastructure that will serve residents and tourists,” said Teck’s Jeff Hanman.

“Teck is committed to supporting the transition to a low-carbon future, which aligns with our goal to become carbon neutral across our operations by 2050.”

As of the end of 2020, there were only 382 zero-emission vehicles in the entire Kootenay region of B.C., with the vast majority of the 50,000 electric and hybrid vehicles registered in the province being in the Lower Mainland.

READ MORE: B.C. electric vehicle sales charge ahead in pandemic 2020
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