North Coast adds 3 more electric vehicle charging stations
By Kaitlyn BaileyEnvironment & Sustainability Utilities
Three new electric vehicle charging stations are being added at North Coast locations including School District 52 and Sandspit Community Hall in Haida Gwaii.
James Warburton, director of operations at SD 52 said on Feb. 15 one will be in the lower parking lot at Charles Hays Secondary School and the second at the Booth Maintenance Building.
Sandspit in Haida Gwaii is also now outfitted with its own electric vehicle charging station at the community hall, the North Coast Regional District shared Feb. 14.
The stations for SD 52 will be Level 3, which means they can typically charge 80 per cent of a vehicle’s battery in about 30 minutes, said a spokesperson from Hypercharge, the charging station company that will be supplying the infrastructure.
It also means they are more expensive. However, SD 52 will only have to pay for about $25,000 of the cost, Warburton said.
The more-than-$100,000 cost of the chargers is being funded almost entirely by a grant from Natural Resources Canada, he said. As for the installation, CleanBC will be paying for about 75 per cent of the total expense, another figure close to $100,000.
While the district does not currently own any electric vehicles, Warburton said it “was a no-brainer” to install the charging stations now, while so much of the costs are being covered, in anticipation of one day moving toward a fleet with electric vehicles.
The school district expects to get their first electric vehicle by 2025, as some of the gas engine fleet is up for renewal soon, Warburton said.
“The Ministry of Education is asking all school districts to look at how they can reduce their greenhouse gases and this is one of the ways that we can contribute to that.”
The Level 3 chargers also mean if the district ever moved to electric buses, they could charge them as well. However, there are no plans to purchase electric buses right now.
The public will be able to use the school district’s chargers outside of school hours for a fee, which will be payable with a credit card.
These two new stations in Prince Rupert will bring the city’s tally of charging stations to six. Two others are being built at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, the city announced on Nov. 25, with two existing stations across from Mariner’s Memorial Park.
Meanwhile, the new station in Sandspit brings Haida Gwaii’s total to two. In addition to the Sandspit station, there is one in Masset at the Old Fire Hall.
Both stations in Haida Gwaii and the two in Prince Rupert’s civic centre were all installed as part of the Charge North Network project. The goal of the project is to install 58 Level 2 chargers across northern B.C.
In a survey of 800 British Columbians conducted in April 2022, 54 per cent of respondents who drove their own vehicle said they feared getting stranded in an electric vehicle due to not being able to find a charging station, cited Research Co.
Furthermore, half of all respondents were worried about not having enough places to charge the vehicle in the areas where they usually drive.
By Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, PRINCE RUPERT NORTHERN VIEW