The Terrace area is soon to get an electric vehicle fast charging site in the park and ride area below the Skeena Landing complex just south of the Hwy16/Hwy37 roundabout.
Bids closed late last month and the provincial transportation and infrastructure ministry is now evaluating who should get the contract to install two Level 3 fast charging stations and one Level 2 charger which powers up electric vehicles at a slower rate.
Projections are that the site will be in operation by late this year, part of an expansion by the transportation ministry and other agencies of electric vehicle charging stations in the region along Hwy16.
The expectation is that as the number of charging stations increase, so will the number of electric vehicles purchased in the northwest as well as encouraging owners of electric vehicles elsewhere to visit the region.
While Level 3 chargers power up electric vehicles in as much as 30 to 40 minutes, Level 2 chargers take longer and the theory is that members of the travelling public will then take the opportunity for a meal or other activity.
This installation will be a companion to a ministry site at the Boulder Creek rest stop along Hwy16 just this side of Kitwanga and several more eastward to Prince George.
Based on previous costs, the site coming to the park and ride area could have a price tag of approximately $300,000 for preparation, installation and equipment.
So far, the transportation ministry is not charging electric vehicle owners.
That’s different from BC Hydro which is also installing a network of Level 3 charging stations along Hwy16.
As of May 1, the charge to use one of its Level 3 stations is approximately 21 cents a minute which works out to be between $6 and $7 per 100 kilometres of charging power.
BC Hydro now has two stations in operation west of Prince George — one of which opened up in the parking lot beside the Lakelander Hotel in Burns Lake last December and another one now open in Prince Rupert close by Mariners Park overlooking the harbour.
It has tagged Houston, Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Smithers, New Hazelton and Kitimat as other locations.
Also coming to Terrace, at the tourist information centre, are two Level 2 chargers which are part of a network called Charge North, collaboration between local governments across the region and down into the Cariboo and managed by the Vancouver-based Community Energy Association.
The City of Terrace has committed $5,000 for each charger as its contribution.
“We are just about to put out a request for proposals to choose a vendor for the equipment purchase and installation which should get underway by this fall,” said Janice Keys from the Community Energy Association.
“It has been a long time coming and folks are excited to add these Level 2 stations to the mix with the Level 3s that have been put in over the last 18 months,” she said.
Across the north, Level 2s are to go in at Burns Lake, Houston, Granisle, Haida Gwaii, Kitimat, the Nass Valley, Smithers, Stellat’en near Fraser Lake, Stewart, Vanderhoof and Hazelton.