Parksville has its first two public electrical vehicle (EV) charging stations, thanks to the Community Charging Infrastructure Fund.
The stations are at the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre (near the cenotaph) and in the middle of Community Park between the playground and tennis courts.
The sites were chosen as popular, central, city-owned locations they hope will become popular with residents and visitors alike.
Mayor Chris Burger pointed to the example of the founder of Sun Country Highway who drove across the country in an electric Tesla Roadster sports car stopping at 80 charging stations, as proof of the growing infrastructure and acceptance of the technology.
With the grant, the final numbers are not in but city communications officer Debbie Tardiff said the grant of $12,000 goes a long way toward the total $40,000 installed cost, which was in last year’s budget.
While 90 percent of EV charging is expected to take place at home, the idea is to have a network of public EV charging locations to decreasing the fear of not being able to charge while on the road.
The charge would take four to six hours from empty depending on the car and the average charge will cost the city less than $2 in electricity.
The main users so far are two city employees including director of community planning Blaine Russell with his hybrid. He points out he is donating the estimated cost back to the city to avoid an image of impropriety.
The charging service will be free for drivers for the first year and is accessible 24 hours a day. The city will revisit this in a year and may introduce “convenience fees” in the future as the demand increases.
To use the station, an activation card may be purchased for $10 from AddENERGIE, www.vernetwork.net.