Electric car charging station

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Two stalls for charging electric cars approved

Come to Salmon Arm for a visit – relax, enjoy, recharge your batteries. Literally.

Two parking stalls for charging electric vehicles are in the works for Salmon Arm’s Ross Street parking lot.

On Feb. 10, city council approved the installation of a charging station with two stalls, as part of a BC Hydro pilot project.

BC Hydro is providing the funding for 30 Direct Current Fast Charge electric car charging stations in the province. Salmon Arm will be part of what’s being called the South Interior Highway Loop Network, which will be added to a network in the Lower Mainland as well as seven other B.C. locations.

The stations will charge most electric vehicles in 20 to 30 minutes for about $2 worth of electricity.

BC Hydro will pay installation costs while the city will cover operation costs, estimated at $1,000 per year, as well as electricity usage charges. The city will also enter an agreement with Greenlots, a company contracted by BC Hydro to provide network and payment management services at a cost of about $300 per year.

Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering, explained the city would get a percentage of revenue to offset the cost of charges, “so if it’s a high-use station, we could recover all costs.”

About 10 sites were considered for Salmon Arm, but the Ross Street location was chosen as the most suitable.

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond asked if there would be any implications for the bylaw officer, with people going shopping and perhaps staying longer in the parking stalls than they should.

Niewenhuizen said the city will have to see how it works out – BC Hydro suggested one or two hours and the parking lot is currently set up with two-hour parking.

Coun. Alan Harrison said he is in favour of the charge station but is a bit concerned with having two stalls – with both taken out of the regular parking pool and potentially sitting empty on busy summer days.

Although both he and Wallace-Richmond voted against an amendment to allow two stalls instead of one, majority ruled. The final vote passed unanimously.

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Community Events, March 2015

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