County jumpstarting electric vehicle stations

·2 min read

The County of Haliburton is preparing to install electric vehicle charging stations throughout the municipality.

County council reviewed a proposal from its climate change co-ordinator March 24 for seven or more stations spread in all four townships. The proposal included options for municipal ownership using grant funding or paying a service fee for chargers owned by service providers. Council voted to keep both options open and provide information for lower-tier townships to decide later.

Coun. Brent Devolin said they might need to do both options to meet future demand.

“This metamorphosis … it’s going to happen in the next couple of years, faster than most people are foreseeing,” Devolin said. “The need is coming.”

The County is included in a federal grant funding application for the project. The municipality could either pay an annual service fee of $3,300 per dual-port station with no upfront cost, with stations owned by Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation. The County could also own stations itself using federal grant dollars to cover up to half the up-front costs, which could be $15,000-$25,000 per station, plus ongoing annual service fees of $500- $1,800.

Coun. Andrea Roberts said it is something Dysart et al has wanted to do.

“We weren’t ever able to do this on our own financially,” Roberts said. “I totally agree the time is now to start working on something like this.”

The proposal is not definite on locations, though recommends one dual-port station at each township office to be used for future municipal vehicles. Director of planning, Charsley White, said those hook-ups could be reserved for municipal vehicles during the day and then utilized by the public in off-hours and weekends. Other ports are proposed for mostly public use at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena and Dysart library.

Climate change coordinator, Korey McKay, said she would recommend an hourly fee to incentivize people to move vehicles.

Presently there is only one public charging station in Haliburton County at the Rhubarb restaurant in Carnarvon, meant for Tesla vehicles.

If the initiative is approved, installation could happen in the summer or fall of 2021 for provider-owned chargers, or between September 2021 and 2023 for County-owned.

Council opted to present options to lower-tier townships given they would contribute to the costs. Warden Liz Danielsen said discussions there should happen as quickly as possible so the initiative can proceed.

“It’s an exciting direction for us to be taking,” Danielsen said.

Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander