HURON COUNTY – There will soon be more electric vehicle charging stations in Huron County, which is essential to local infrastructure, Warden Glen McNeil said.
“Partnerships like these enable us to offer our residents and visitors greener options and means we’re better prepared to meet the challenges of climate change,” McNeil said.
The County of Huron, along with the Town of Goderich, Municipality of Huron East, and the Township of North Huron, recently received funding through the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) offered through Natural Resources Canada, to install electric vehicle chargers in Huron County.
Huron County will be receiving 14 Level 2 electric vehicle chargers with 26 individual charging ports distributed across various locations within the participating municipalities. While the funding stream limited the locations of the chargers, consideration was given to making sure the chargers were placed in ideal locations for public use, including municipal parking lots close to community centres and libraries. Installation of the chargers is expected to begin in late summer or early fall 2021.
The County of Huron partnered with SparkPark and ChargerCrew, organizations that install and operate electric vehicle chargers, to submit an application in June 2020 for the second round of ZEVIP funding, which focused on installing electric vehicle chargers at workplaces. ChargerCrew offered to lead the ZEVIP application on behalf of the county and local municipalities, and SparkPark is providing the capital to install the chargers and operate and maintain the infrastructure for 10 years.
The County of Huron is also partnering with Wellington County to complete a feasibility study to explore developing a regional electric vehicle charging network that would bridge the gap of charging infrastructure between Highway 401 and the Lake Huron and Georgian Bay area.
The opportunity to create a network in this region has been identified as a key opportunity for tourism, economic development, and the acceleration of electric vehicle adoption. The feasibility study would allow municipalities across the region to have a coordinated approach to planning and installing electric vehicle chargers, allowing them to be strategically located to reduce the distance between chargers and support local tourist destinations.
An application for funding to complete the feasibility study is currently underway.
- Level 2 charging stations are typically considered to be destination chargers, as EV drivers will use them to top up while they shop, dine, work or sleep. They are ideal for businesses or locations where drivers stop for more than 30 minutes.
- When used for business purposes, Level 2 chargers can provide value-added amenities for visitors and attract customers. Many drivers will tend to favour EV-friendly shopping or dining destinations.
- Shopping centres, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, workplaces, commercial parking lots, multi-unit residential buildings, commercial properties, and curbside on city streets.
- Level 2 charging stations provide up to 30 km of range per hour of charging (depending on car models).
- Level 2 charging stations are equipped with the SAE J1772 connector, which means these stations are compatible with all electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times