Electric-vehicle charging stations coming to TRU
Installing eight chargers for electric vehicles at Thompson Rivers University is a lot like the chicken and the egg story, according to Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake.
“Remember back in the 1980s and they were promoting propane for cars and people were doing that, but there was nowhere to fill up?” said Lake, who is also the province’s environment minister.
“We want people to take up this technology so we’re trying to provide that infrastructure for it.”
Thompson Rivers University is actually receiving money for 10 stations, with two stations going to its Williams Lake campus.
The money comes from the $2.7-million Community Charging Infrastructure Fund and has so far seen 71 organizations approved for money to install 286 stations throughout the province.
The fund provides 75 per cent of the cost of the stations, up to $4,000 each.
Christopher Seguin, vice-president advancement for TRU, said: “There will be an increasing number of electric vehicles on the road in the future and TRU is a providing leadership in setting up infrastructure to encourage that trend, which will reduce global warming.
“The electric-vehicle industry has two components: The vehicles themselves and the charging facilities necessary to service them.
“By providing the charging stations, the university is making it more attractive for people to purchase electric vehicles and reduce our carbon footprint.”
Lake said he expects faculty at the university to be the target for early adopters of electric cars.
Seguin said the university doesn’t have statistics on the number of electric-powered cars on campus and Lake said he would be surprised if there are many because that type of alternative-energy vehicle has just recently entered the Canadian auto market.
Seguin added: “The idea is not only for our staff, etc., but visitors and community members attending events.
“A reliable provincewide network will encourage people to purchase the vehicles knowing that they can recharge them at places like TRU.”
Lake drives a hybrid Chevrolet Volt powered by gasoline and electricity.
In the two months he has owned the Volt, Lake has been thrilled.
“I plug it in at night and, in the morning, I can go 70 kilometres on electricity before it switches over to gas,” he said, noting that is something the car does for trips outside of Kamloops.
“But, since I got it, I’ve been to Portland, to Vancouver, to Clearwater, to Lac Le Jeune and all over Kamloops and, in those two months, I’ve maybe spent $200 on gas.”