Megan Wood (left) and Environmental Studies diploma student Maria Marsh (right) chat with Okanagan College Facilities electrician Alan Becker as he works on one of the four charging stations being installed at the Kelowna campus.

Megan Wood (left) and Environmental Studies diploma student Maria Marsh (right) chat with Okanagan College Facilities electrician Alan Becker as he works on one of the four charging stations being installed at the Kelowna campus.

City charged up over electric vehicles

Penticton is rapidly becoming an electric vehicle-friendly city.

Penticton is rapidly becoming an electric vehicle-friendly city.

A pair of charging stations were installed at the Okanagan College campus in 2013, and two years later Penticton now boasts a total of 12 car charging stations at six locations. Now another has been added to the total, with the installation of a fast charging station in Downtown Penticton.  The new unit is the result of a partnership between the province, the city, BC Hydro and FortisBC through BC Clean Energy Vehicle Program.

BC Hydro is working to deploy up to 30 direct current (DC) fast charging stations across B.C., including the Penticton locations, in the Backstreet Boulevard parking lot, just to the east of the 200 block of Main Street near the breezeway.

DC fast charging stations allow electric vehicle owners to rapidly recharge their vehicles and will give the owners of electric vehicles the confidence to travel between communities. Electric cars using fast chargers can achieve an 80 per cent charge in only 20 or 30 minutes, compared to the four to eight hours required to charge a vehicle with a Level 2 charging station (240 V) or overnight using a standard 120 V wall outlet.

There are now 47 charging locations in communities from Osoyoos to Vernon.

In addition to this new downtown Penticton location and Okanagan College, there are also units at the Lakeside Resort, Sentes Chevrolet, Skaha Ford, Nedco and Pentage Winery.

BC Hydro has built a functional network in the Lower Mainland, and seven DC fast charging stations in Nanaimo, Duncan, Surrey, Merritt, Kamloops, Squamish and Langley. Penticton is part of the South Interior Highway Loop Network, proposed to connect Okanagan and Interior communities to the provincial program.

“The City of Penticton is proud to join the South Interior Highway Loop Network and offer sustainable amenities in our vibrant commercial core for visitors and residents alike,” said Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit. “The DC fast charging station initiative is an excellent example of how partnerships make a big difference in bringing new innovations to communities like ours.”

“Over the next three years, our government is investing $7.5 million in purchase incentives that will be offered to consumers,” said Penticton MLA Dan Ashton. “We are also putting $1.59 million into fuelling and charging infrastructure so that buying an electric car is more appealing to British Columbians.”

For more information on locating public charging stations, visit pluginbc.ca.