Friday, September 23, 2016

Vernon Gets Charged Up

Posted on 9/23/2016 1:09 PM by Pete McIntyre 107.5 KISSFM
Vernon is the site of a significant milestone in BC's electric vehicle charging network. A BC Hydro pilot project to install 30 direct current fast charging stations throughout the province saw the final station, located on 31st Avenue near the Greyhound bus station in downtown Vernon, opened today. Energy Minister Bill Bennett told a news conference, BC has the largest charging infrastructure in Canada. "Transportation is responsible for about 30 to 35 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that we put into the atmosphere. Transportation is an area where we can really make a difference, and getting more electric vehicles on the road is obviously a positive thing," says Bennett, the Liberal MLA from Cranbrook, who is leaving provincial politics after 16 years next May. Fast charging stations can charge an electric vehicle battery to 80 per cent in 30 minutes. BC Hydro has been installing the stations since 2012 with support from all the levels of government. "This type of infrastructure doesn't happen without everybody being on side," Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster told the gathering. "That includes the folks from the electric car associations who have lobbied throughout Canada, but certainly here in BC. We lead the country, not only in electric cars, but in all the climate action files, and we're very proud of that." “BC Hydro is focused on removing barriers for our customers who want to own an electric vehicle,” says Keith Anderson, BC Hydro's vice president, Customer Service. “Electric vehicles can help British Columbians save money. Our electricity rates are among the lowest in North America, which means by switching to an electric vehicle you could save 75 per cent on fuel costs.” The 30 fast charging stations, which currently can be used free of charge, connect drivers from the Lower Mainland to Merritt and Kamloops, up to Whistler, Vancouver Island and the Southern Interior. "This is another clean, green initiative for our community, and communities all around BC. Environment is important," said Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund, who took a ride in an electric vehicle and couldn't believe how quiet it was.

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