As part of the $2.7 million Community Charging Infrastructure fund, announced in April by Minister of Environment Terry Lake, 71 different organizations have been approved through an Early Bird Application process for charging station initiatives.
Both Dawson Creek and Fort St. John will receive 75 per cent of the cost of each station through the fund – $4,000 per station – which will go towards purchasing and installing level two charging stations. Each city will also receive $184,416 in funding to help identifying priority locations for additional stations, working with local businesses.
Minister of Environment Terry Lake says the need to address the lack of charging stations is an issue he can personally relate to.
"As an electric vehicle owner myself, it is great to be able to add an increasing number of convenient locations to charge up and make owning an electric vehicle more attractive than it already is in B.C… It’s extremely encouraging to see such widespread interest across the province, both at the local government and business level."
However, it's not clear whether northeast B.C. has warmed up to the idea of electrical vehicles yet. Kyle Beck, Sales Manager at Fort St. John’s Murray GM, says unfamiliarity with the product, along with the harsh winters of the north, may provide some scepticism about stocking the lot with electric cars.
"We want to wait before we spend our money ordering them. We want to see how they will last through the winter…I think eventually they will take off, but we need to get our hands on some first…Now if they built an electronic truck, it may be different."
Beck threw out the idea of testing the cars in a location like Edmonton, which has very similar winter conditions to Fort St. John. But for now, the lack of knowledge about how the technology will hold up in the winter is limiting the dealership’s desire to bring in its Chevrolet Volt. As of now, Fort St. John’s Murray GM has no electric cars on its lot.