Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

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Karen Graham

Based on a staff recommendation, Council directed staff to apply for the funding grant currently offered by the provincial government through the Ontario Green Investment Fund’s one-time, Electric Vehicle Charger Grant program to establish one Level 2 Vehicle Charging station for the downtown area and if eligible, apply for a Level 3 installation at Maple Leaf Park in Cavan. Level 2 stations are single phase units providing 7.5kW of power and which require approximately 3 hours to charge a vehicle. There are currently two Level 2 stations in place in the area, one at Fleming College on Brealey Drive and the second one at the Mitsubishi dealership on Lansdowne St. West. The more expensive Level 3 charging stations are three phase units with the ability to charge a vehicle in as little as half an hour.

The objective of this $20 million Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario grant program is to create a network of fast-charging electric vehicle stations in cities, along highways and at workplaces, apartments, condominiums, and public places across Ontario. All station must be publicly accessible and available for use year-round, and the Level 3 units must be located adjacent to or within, one kilometer from heavily travelled highway interchanges and intersections such as Highway 115. The program is targeting areas including urban centres such as the GTA, Ottawa, Waterloo Region, Barrie, and North Bay, and the objective is to establish a network of stations within 60-80 km of other inter-city stations. These units also must include a toll-free customer assistance number so drivers can report equipment outages, malfunctions or other damage and to obtain point-of-sale assistance and customer authentication systems or to request assistance operating the charging equipment.

Staff were directed to work with the Millbrook Business Improvement Area executive and the Downtown Revitalization Committee to identify the best location for this Level 2 station which must be located in an area where services such as restaurants, retail and recreation services are available. The downtown area meets the selection criteria.

The funding covers the entire purchase and installation of the units. As there is very little local experience in these projects, the range of costs is wide, from $5,750 to $13,950. If approved,

the Township must commit to owning, operating and maintaining the equipment for a period of 5 years. Although supplier programs are being reviewed, the current warranty period for charging stations is about 3 years. Charges for the use of the stations will be established by the grant recipients, and will cover the actual hydro cost and administrative expenses but may not cover any capital expenses. Current user fees in other areas range from $5 to $10 per use.

With fewer than 5,000 electric vehicles registered in the province, one of the main barriers to growth is referred to as “range anxiety”, referring to the distance a vehicle can travel before needing to refuel. This grant program is designed to encourage the development of new infrastructure through public re-charging stations. The priority of the program is the Level 3 type of station, also known as Direct Current Fast Chargers. Make electric vehicle travel more practical and convenient in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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