Pincher Creek to instal electric vehicle chargers

A climate change initiative is set to deliver electric vehicle chargers to the Town of Pincher Creek, the outlying Municipal District, and Castle Mountain Resort.

The initiative combines funding from the SouthGrowth Regional Initiative, a non-profit economic development organization based in Lethbridge, and Enel Green Power, which operates Pincher Creek’s Castle Ridge wind farm, according to Tristan Walker, energy project lead for the town and MD.

The town will install a public EV charger on the northeast corner of the Pincher Creek Spray Park at 1020 Robertson Ave, where batteries can be topped up at an estimated cost of between $2 and $5 per hour. The charger will fit any EV, with a special adapter required for Teslas, Walker said.

The Spray Park was selected for its easy accessibility and for the average length of stay at the nearby multipurpose facility, which includes the town’s swimming pool, library and Memorial Community Centre Arena. An hour’s worth of juice will fuel most EVs for between 50 and 75 kilometres.

Town hall hopes that the added boost will ease EV drivers’ “range anxiety,” especially as they travel between regional swim meets and hockey tournaments.

Two more EV chargers are destined for the MD administration building and work yard at 1037 Herron Ave. One will be installed for public use in front of the main office, with the second dedicated to the MD’s vehicle fleet, which doesn’t currently operate EVs.

“The MD is looking at bringing in electric vehicles within the next one to five years,” Walker said Wednesday, Nov. 16.

All four chargers will run off the province’s energy grid, drawing electricity powered by coal, natural gas, wind and solar energy.

“You’re going to propel an electric vehicle much further, using much less energy, regardless of where that energy is coming from,” Walker said, contrasting EVs’ 80 per cent fuel efficiency with the internal combustion engine’s 36 per cent. As an added benefit, EV’s don’t emit greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.

All four EV chargers are due for installation in the early 2023, according to Walker.

Laurie Tritschler, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze