Ottawa, non-profit aim to bring 250 more electric vehicle chargers to N.S.

·2 min read
A car is charged at a charge station for electric vehicles on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 1, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A car is charged at a charge station for electric vehicles on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 1, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The environmental non-profit Clean Foundation has been given $1.2 million from the federal government to help organizations install up to a total of 250 electric vehicle chargers across Nova Scotia.

Eligible private and public organizations will be able to apply, beginning Feb. 7, to the Clean Foundation for funding for the Level 2 chargers, which are considered mid-range in terms of charging time.

"We expect it will be very popular," said Sarah Balloch, the manager of transportation for the Clean Foundation. "I'm excited to see charging grow all over the province in a variety of ways — workplaces, multi-unit residential buildings and on streets."

Currently there are 146 charging units throughout the province.

Depending on the type of vehicle, Level 2 chargers provide between 16 and 97 kilometres of range per hour of charging time, according to Natural Resources Canada.

'Gaps in the system'

The federal department that has given the Clean Foundation the $1.2 million.

"We need to get these foundational steps in place," said Darren Fisher, the MP for Dartmouth and a proponent of electric vehicles as a way to reduce carbon emissions. "There are gaps in the system and this will help fill in those gaps."

The province has a goal of 30 per cent of all new car sales being electric vehicles by 2030. The federal target is 50 per cent.

Some electric vehicle owners have raised concerns about the reliability of the charging units and the level of maintenance.

Balloch said maintenance is the responsibility of the groups that install the chargers.

"There is a really fantastic community of electric vehicle owners who will leave comments on the maps about what is working and what isn't working," said Balloch.

Fisher believes any maintenance issues are part of the growing pains of a new industry.

"I think that's part of the process of coming forward with new technology," said Fisher. "When you start to see the infrastructure grow you'll see a corresponding level of maintenance."

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