Within minutes of the ribbon-cutting at the first Level 3 electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station in Cache Creek, its first customer pulled up to the station in a Nissan Leaf and began to charge his car.
The Cache Creek station — along with new stations in Clinton and 70 Mile — are part of Phase 3 of BC Hydro’s growing network of Level 3 EV fast-chargers throughout the province. The stations are capable of charging the average EV battery to 80 per cent in about 30 minutes.
The new Cache Creek station was funded by Natural Resources Canada and the Provincial government. BC Hydro will be adding 26 more fast-charge stations around the province this year, including Valemount, Blue River, Williams Lake, and Hixon. Dag Sharman, a community relations manager for BC Hydro, says it is possible to drive from Tofino to the Alberta border in an electric vehicle, and the focus is now on the Kamloops to Prince George routes. The next phase will concentrate on other routes and in “doubling up” in some communities, as electric vehicles become more common and prolific.
The majority of the charging stations are located within 300 metres of a major road or highway, and within 50 metres of services such as food, washrooms, or other shopping.
About three dozen people — including several EV owners with their vehicles — were on hand for the Cache Creek ribbon-cutting. Bonaparte Band councillor Charlene William said that growing up, she spent a lot of time in Cache Creek, and that she’s seen a lot of changes in the town over the years. She also reflected on the change in travel within living memory, from horse and buggy to electric vehicles.
“We’re really fortunate to be moving in this direction,” she said of the charging station. “I’m happy to see a renewable charging source like this. It’s a very important step in our contribution to the future.”
Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Jati Sidhu said he was proud to be there for the event.
“This electric vehicle charging station is another milestone in our clean future. Cache Creek has a history as a transportation hub, and this helps us usher in a cleaner future.
“We made a commitment to the environment while making things easier for taxpayers. We’re providing Canadians with more options and cleaner choices for transportation.”
Cache Creek mayor Santo Talarico said that the charging station will be an important part of the community, and thanked Cllr. Wendy Coomber for her work in getting it.
“She pushed and pushed for this, and spearheaded this drive for Cache Creek. We’ve traditionally been a stopping point for travellers to charge their batteries, and this station will serve travellers and the residents of our community.”
BC Hydro notes that EVs are a great option for British Columbians who are looking to lower their vehicle ownership costs, as fueling an EV costs about 80 per cent less than fueling a gas-powered vehicle.
In addition to saving money, about 98 per cent of the electricity BC Hydro generates is from clean and renewable resources, which means that making the switch to an EV will help reduce emissions.
For more information on how BC Hydro is supporting EV adoption in B.C., visit www.bchydro.com/ev.