MD of Smoky River pursuing electric vehicle grants

The M.D. of Smoky River decided at its last council meeting Dec. 14 to pursue electric vehicle grants through Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC).

Council decided to apply for both a fleet truck for municipal employees and also a electric side-by-side for the Little Smoky Ski Area.

“We decided to apply for the grant in light of being approved for two electric charging stations at the M.D. office,” says Reeve Robert Brochu.

“Our council feels it is important to take advantage of funding that is available to our municipality to replace items that would normally be purchased on a cyclical basis anyway.”

The M.D. was approved late last year for two electric vehicle chargers, both set to be installed sometime this spring. Funding was received for both a Level 3 charger and a Level 2 charger through the SouthGrow Regional Initiative Fund. Total cost for installation and purchase of equipment will be $96,036.

“Our council recognizes that charging infrastructure is lacking in Northern Alberta and we were fortunate to be successful in our application,” says Brochu. “Now we’re hoping to embrace the technology a little more by including electric machines in our fleet,” he adds.

The municipality’s municipal energy manager (MEM) has begun preliminary searches for electric trucks within the region but will have to continue her search as many of the long range machines are already spoken for, out of stock, or companies are having difficulties keeping up with demand.

“Our MEM started looking for both side-by-sides and trucks before Christmas and will continue her pursuit this month,” explains Brochu.

“She has had some difficulty locking down a long-range Ford F-150 Lightning and Polaris is unsure of when or if they will release another round of electric side-by-sides.”

The current funding through MCCAC for electric vehicles is available to municipalities until the end of March.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter - South Peace News - southpeacenews.com

Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, South Peace News