Electric vehicles get a boost with new charging stations in Prince Rupert

Electric vehicle owners in Prince Rupert will soon have facilities to recharge their cars while swimming a lap or playing a game of hockey.

On Nov. 25, the City of Prince Rupert announced two new electric vehicle charging stations will be to be installed at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre as part of the Charge North Network.

“This charging infrastructure at one of our most locally used facilities is a great asset for Prince Rupert,” Mayor Herb Pond said.

The level two stations will boost electric vehicles 30 kilometres to 40 km of range per hour.

They will be built in the parking area, close to the doors of the arena. This area may be blocked off to the public while construction is underway, the city advised.

The two new stations will make a total of four in the city, with the BC Hydro installed stations across from Mariner’s Memorial Park.

“It’s early days, but electric vehicles are becoming a more affordable option for residents and visitors. We need to be part of a shift to more sustainable transportation options,” Pond said.

Charge North is working with BC Hydro and the B.C. Ministry of Transportation to install 58 level two charging stations in 31 communities across northern B.C. From Masset to Valemount and Fort Nelson to Logan Lake, the Charge North project covers 306,600 square kilometres in a region with a population of more than 375,000.

According to their website, the North Coast Regional District is hopeful the new infrastructure will help push towards an uptick in purchases of electric vehicles.

In addition to the level two stations, a handful of direct current fast charging stations, or level three stations, are being invested in. These will have the power to charge a vehicle to full in about an hour, depending on the vehicle type.

The City of Prince Rupert signed on as a partner to the Charge North Network in 2018.

“In order for electric vehicles to be feasible in our far-flung communities, it was understood that there would be a need for a regional push,” the city stated.

Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View