BC Hydro continues to work on its plan to install fast chargers, such as this one at the Village of Clinton village hall, from Prince George to Prince Rupert. (Terrace Standard photo)

BC Hydro forges ahead with fast chargers for electric vehicles

One for Burns Lake to be in operation this year; next year for Houston

BC Hydro’s fast charging station for electric vehicles in Burns Lake should be ready for service next month while one tagged for Houston won’t be installed until next year.

These chargers, called Level 3, can charge an electric vehicle in approximately 30 minutes and are part of a network the provincial crown corporation is putting in place along Hwy16 from Prince George to Prince Rupert.

They’ll add to others already installed east of Prince George and south of that city as work intensifies to encourage more people to either buy electric vehicles or to venture further around the province knowing there is a charging network in place.

Pad preparations for the Burns Lake Level 3 charger are in place at the municipal parking lot right beside the Tweedsmuir Hotel with installation and commissioning set for early October.

BC Hydro is covering the estimated $250,000 cost of the Level 3 charger and won’t be charging for its use although it is applying to the BC Utilities Commission to eventually establish a user rate. Each station will have two charging ports.

Right next to BC Hydro’s charger will be a Level 2 charger which can power up electric vehicles in anywhere from two to four hours. That’ll replace a Level 2 charger which is no longer working and the Village of Burns Lake is paying $5,000 for the new one with the Community Energy Association of B.C. covering the remainder of the costs through senior government grants. Its installation is expected next year.

Level 2 chargers are intended to attract electric vehicle-driving tourists in the hopes they’ll have lunch and shop while their vehicles are being charged.

Houston’s Level 3 charger, to go in at the laneway north of 9th Ave. is scheduled to be installed next year pending a council decision to proceed with a key portion of Houston’s continuing downtown improvement program.

“The electric vehicle station installation was delayed as a result of the deferral of the Highway 16 Utilities Undergrounding Project until 2021, given that the electrical supply line for this station was designed for underground,” said District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.

“The downtown revitalization project will still incorporate the let-down for this station in the curb and gutter for the 9th-St laneway to ensure that there are no structural changes resulting from this installation,” he said.

Houston is also to get a Level 2 charger as part of the Community Energy Association of BC program. That’ll replace a very old Level 1 charger for which the District of Houston can no longer find parts.

s for the equivalent of three parking spots abutting a charging station to be installed and owned by BC Hydro in the laneway north of 9th St. and will fit in with the redevelopment and beautification of the downtown area there.

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