Plans are in the works to have two electric vehicle charging stations at the Quesnel Visitor Centre.

City Council has unanimously decided to participate in Community Energy BC’s electric vehicle strategy.

City Manager Byron Johnson says the province is essentially offering the city a discount to do it…

“What the province is essentially offering us is a discounted way to get into the electric vehicle charging station scenario, so what they’re suggesting is that the municipality could fund for a share of between 25-hundred dollars and five thousand dollars per station on the installation and operations of these for a five year period. They say the full value is 14 thousand dollars so we would have to pay up to five thousand dollars per station.”

Quesnel’s share will come out of the City’s carbon reserve.

Councillor Tony Goulet moved the motion and was a big supporter of it…

“If we’re looking at inviting people into our community it might be a great opportunity for them to stop here, charge their vehicle, partake in the city activities and look around the community while their vehicle is charging. I know it takes a while for them to be charged.”

Councillor Mitch Vik talked about not wanting to be the gap in the charging routes for electric vehicles…

“If someone is planning a trip through our territory, if we don’t have charging stations there is a high likelihood that we will be bypassed. I think even if it is a token two stations, there is a very well designed website that articulates where charging stations are located in the Interior of BC. So I think even if we have two to begin with when one is studying the map of where one can charge a car, Quesnel would not be bypassed. They wouldn’t drive onto Prince George or stop in Williams Lake. So on that principle alone, I would support that.”

Councillor Ron Paull suggested charging for the charge, but there didn’t seem to be an appetite to do that around the Council table.

He also expressed some concern about publicly funded charging stations competing with charging stations that are already in place by the public sector…

“I wouldn’t want to see us go to the point where we’re going to put in a whole bunch of charging stations to the point where we would be discouraging the private sector from putting in charging stations on their own.”

The initiative has been branded Charge North and represents six regional districts and 37 municipalities across northern and central B.C. to electrify over 2,780 kilometers of highway from south of Kamloops to Haida Gwaii.

The province is committed to introducing regulation mandating that by 2040 every new car sold in BC will be electric.