Larry Underwood charging up a full-electric Nissan Leaf at the T'Sou-ke First Nation administrative building. The 240V electric charging station was installed two years ago and draws its electricity from solar panels installed behind the building.

Sooke’s electric car charging grid gets a boost

Sooke plugs electric car plan with network of charging stations

  • Feb. 3, 2017 8:00 p.m.

Sooke is amped up for a major increase to its electric vehicle charging infrastructure this year, with several charging stations in the works.

The three newest locations? Edward Milne Community School, SEAPARC Leisure Complex and the District of Sooke.

The call for more juice is clear as electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle owners have become more prevalent in Sooke, said SEAPARC manager Steve Knoke, who among others has considered adding such a feature for some time.

In this case, two electric charging stations, each capable of 240V of power, located at the southeast end of the SEAPARC complex.

“It’s new technology and it’s great to be able to provide more opportunities for people who want go green,” Knoke said, adding the upgrade would help modernize the facility like others in the region, such as West Shore, Saanich and Esquimalt.

Considering a report from AES Engineering, a Victoria-based engineering firm, estimated cost for SEAPARC’s twin charging stations is around $9,000.

Knoke said the proposal could be subject to grants adding up to $4,000, but pointed out details won’t be finalized until March.

SEAPARC’s not the only one jolted with the EV craze.

EMCS’s Leadership students raised more than $2,000 to help bring an electric car charging station to its home turf, which recently received the green light, said the student group’s teacher Scott Rothermel. An additional $1,000 was provided by the EMCS Society.

The installation will be a single pedestal unit with two charging stations (120V each) in the visitors parking area located in front of the school.

“There’s a lot of pride among the students to take on a green project, and it’s nice for me to be there with them and have them work hard at it to keep going and not give up,” Rothermel said.

“These kids don’t own electric cars, but they know one day more staff, students and people who visit the school will have electric cars. They’re thinking way beyond today, about the students, the teachers and the community of tomorrow.”

The project cost will be around $4,000, but the students are looking for community support to help fundraise the remaining $800.

Either way, Rothermel hopes to have the station laid in before the Leadership students graduate in June.

Equally charged up with the idea is the District of Sooke, after it quietly decided to look at options of installing an electric charging station either at Municipal Hall or somewhere in the town core.

“It’s in the infancy of us looking at it, but the stations have to be fairly accessible,” said district engineer Rob Howatt. “We could look at putting one in our parking lot, but you really want it closer to the highway.”

Howatt suggested possible locations as Village Foods or Western Foods malls as alternatives, but that means there will have to be another hydro and meter considered as part of the installation costs.

Existing EV charging stations in Sooke can be found at the T’Sou-ke administration building, the Prestige Hotel and Sooke Harbour House.

 

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