Those who drive electric vehicles may feel a little more comfortable driving in and around the city of Selkirk after the city announced they have installed a brand new charging station for those who chose to travel using electricity rather than gasoline.
“With the federal government mandating that all new vehicles sold in Canada be electric by 2035, we know there will be a massive increase in electric vehicles on the road, in fact we’re seeing it already,” Selkirk CAO Duane Nicol said.
In a recent news release, the city of Selkirk, a community of about 10,000 residents that sits 20 kilometres north of Winnipeg and is often referred to as the ‘hub’ of Manitoba’s Interlake region, announced they have installed an electric vehicle (EV) charging station in a public parking lot on Manitoba Avenue East in the city.
The city said they received a $10,000 grant to install a dual output, level 2 charging station through the federal government’s Natural Resources Zero Emission Infrastructure Program.
Nicol said he believes that if communities and governments don’t start thinking about ways to accommodate electric vehicle drivers now, there could come a time when they realize they don’t have the infrastructure to support the number of people driving electric.
“Charging stations are vital to this shift,” Nicol said. “In the coming years, having this infrastructure in your community will be the only way to keep visitors and tourists coming.”
Spencer Hruden, Selkirk’s Energy Efficiency Coordinator, said he hopes the installation of the station leaves fewer people who live in or travel to the area feeling concerned about running out of a charge in an electric vehicle.
“A common issue for people considering the change to an electric vehicle is range anxiety, which is the concern that charging stations will not be available where and when they are needed,” Hruden said.
“Installing Selkirk’s first public charging station is a solid step on the path to reducing range anxiety, supporting EV adoption, and leveraging the benefits of Manitoba’s clean, renewable, affordable electricity supply for transportation.”
Nicol said the charging station is yet another way that Selkirk is taking steps to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), after recently announcing several other initiatives to lower GHGs, and that he believes these types of projects have never been as important as they are right now.
“Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time,” Nicol said. “We are once again seeing the results of a changing climate, and the devastation it is causing on our TV newscasts every night. From unheard of 40-degree-plus temperatures in the U.K., to out-of-control wildfires in Canada, the United States, Greece, Portugal and many other places, we’re seeing what a warming climate does.
“Climate change emergencies occurring across the globe demonstrate the need for action.”
— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun