Electric vehicle charging stations now operational in Kitimat

The District of Kitimat has officially opened two charging stations in the community for electric vehicles.

Electric car owner

The District of Kitimat has unveiled two charging stations which will allow electric vehicle owners to zap some juice into their vehicles.

One station is set up outside Envision Financial, while the other is set up outside the Riverlodge.

To help pay for these devices, the District received money from the Plug-In BC program, which is administered by the Fraser Basin Council, and also through the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program, which is a grant the District receives for having signed on to B.C.’s Climate Action Charter.

“We can now be part of the regional system where we can use electric cars,” said Mayor Joanne Monaghan at the event, where she was joined by councillors Mary Murphy and Rob Goffinet. “I’m really excited about it and I think it’s something that Kitimat is right on the edge [of].”

Demonstrating the charging station to onlookers was Mark Gravel, who works locally for Lapointe Engineering and sits on the Advisory Planning Commission.

He purchased a Chevrolet Volt electric car last September, as response to his family’s desire to live sustainably.

“We live a relatively small footprint at home,” he said, noting that they raise rabbits and bees at their home. “We are concerned about our footprint on the environment.”

The Volt itself fit the bill when it came to wanting an electric car which suited northern living. While mileage does go down — because the battery does need to heat — he can still get around.

He said it takes about four hours to charge the battery — he’s until now usually charged it at a charging station at Lapointe’s — and that charge will get him through the week.

It takes no more than $2 to reach full.

There is a back-up gas engine in the vehicle as well, which charges the battery while in use. That gas engine allows him to make the trip to Terrace, as the charge itself isn’t quite enough, getting roughly 55 kilometres on a charge.

He said the gas tank can hold about $30 worth of gas and he’s filled it up five times since he purchased the car last September.

Michael Bergen with E.B. Horsman and Son supplied the charging units to the District and said that they’ve installed them in Dawson Creek but it’s still a relatively knew community feature in the north.

He said people can go to the Charge Point website to find charging locations and even reserve the station for certain times.

While a Charge Point card or PayPass enabled credit or debit card is required to unlock the device, the unit is actually free to use.

With Kitimat’s two Charge Point stations, they join one unit in Terrace, one in Houston, one in Burns Lake and three in Prince George.