Two new fast-charging electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations have been unveiled at the Kelowna International Airport on Monday, along with 10 other strategically placed stations across the Okanagan and the Kootenays.
In a partnership between FortisBC, the federal and provincial government, the two stations will allow EV owners a place to get a full charge in about 30 minutes for only $9.
The City of Kelowna donated the land, but the machines will be owned, operated and maintained by FortisBC.
“Our goal is to make sure electric vehicle drivers can travel with confidence across our electric service territory in B.C.’s southern interior,” FortisBC vice-president of market development Doug Stout said.
“These are some exciting times for the Okanagan, the province of B.C. and all of Canada as we see more infrastructure like this get built out and more partnerships between the government and private industry to make this come together,” he said at the ribbon cutting.
Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr said the Government of Canada contributed $600,000, or about 50 per cent of the cost of the 12 EV fast-charging stations to be built across the Okanagan and Kootenays.
The other 50 per cent will be funded by FortisBC and the provincial government.
“Transportation counts for almost one-quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, almost half of which comes from cars and light trucks,” Fuhr said. “The Government of Canada is committing to putting more zero-emission vehicles on the road which will have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions — particularly in the longer term.”
City of Kelowna councillors learned of these new EV stations last month during a regular meeting. There, a city staffer cited a study stating there are more than 18,000 EVs on Canada’s roads and that number is expected to grow to more than 350,000 in just 11 years.
The two fast-charging stations on the airport will be owned and operated by FortisBC and Stout said the $9 per half hour charge was determined on a cost-recovery basis model.
“Putting charging stations where they are needed most helps drive electric vehicle adoption and is part of our Clean Growth Pathway, our action plan to help the province meet its clean energy goals,” Stout said.
Kelowna will see two more fast-charging stations installed; one at the Heritage Museum and another at Rutland Centennial Park.