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Posted: March 18, 2019

Accelerate Kootenays EV charging network completed

The Accelerate Kootenays electric vehicle (EV) charging network has now completed the installation of 13 direct current fast chargers (DCFC) across the Kootenays with the electrification of the much anticipated stations in Glacier National Park at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre and Yoho National Park at the Visitors Centre in Field.

Considered a critical gap for EV travel between Calgary and Vancouver, these locations will enhance the safety of EV travel along the Trans-Canada Highway, especially during winter months.

The Rogers Pass and Yoho stations are a first for national parks in Canada, and were made possible by the collaborative Accelerate Kootenays project and BC Hydro as the owner/operator of the stations. The installations come at a time when both provincial and federal commitments are being made to expand infrastructure and zero-emission vehicle standards.

“The Government of Canada is committed to protecting nature, parks, and wild spaces,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Catherine McKenna. “We are pleased to see new and innovative initiatives like the Accelerate Kootenays project that enable Canadians to connect with Parks Canada places in the most eco-friendly way possible. The new EV charging stations in Glacier and Yoho national parks support electric mobility across Canada’s mountain ranges – promoting clean air, clear water, and a healthy environment.”

The completion of the Accelerate Kootenays network coincides with new commitments made in the CleanBC plan, which puts British Columbia on the path to 100% zero-emission vehicles sales by 2040.

“In order to achieve our climate targets, we will be working with partners across the province to more than double the number of DC Fast Charging infrastructure,” explained B.C. Minister of Energy and Mines, Hon. Michelle Mungall. “We were pleased to support the Accelerate Kootenays project and are thrilled with the success the Kootenay region has had, with well over 1,000 charging events on the network in the first year.”

Recognizing the importance of connecting B.C. from one end to the other with reliable EV charging infrastructure, B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure allocated additional funding toward these sites, which are relatively remote and prone to significant winter snowfall.

“The electric vehicle charging stations at Rogers Pass and Field are one more step towards our goal of building a network of charging stations across B.C.,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This supports our CleanBC goal of expanding clean vehicle infrastructure, which is crucial to tackling climate change. I’m pleased about the work we’re accomplishing with regional partners.”

The Glacier and Yoho National Park charging stations are part of the Accelerate Kootenays network, which is supported by a partnership between the Regional Districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund TM (GMF) and the Government of Canada, Columbia Basin Trust, B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Teck, FortisBC and BC Hydro. Additional funding for these sites was provided by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The Accelerate Kootenays project is facilitated by Community Energy Association.

Lead image: Greg Hill preparing for a day of skiing in Glacier National Park while his EV charges up. Photo by Travis Rousseau

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