BC HYDRO SUBSIDIARY POWERTECH LABS OPENS FAST CHARGING STATION TO PUBLIC 


 SURREY – Electric vehicle owners can celebrate Canada Day early and travel further this holiday weekend thanks to the opening of the first fast charging station in the province at BC Hydro’s Powertech facility in Surrey.

SURREY – Electric vehicle owners can celebrate Canada Day early and travel further this holiday weekend thanks to the opening of the first fast charging station in the province at BC Hydro’s Powertech facility in Surrey.

"This new charging station gives electric vehicle drivers even more freedom and flexibility to move throughout Surrey and the Metro Vancouver region. It’s important that efforts are made to support the growing demand for alternative fuel vehicles and this is a welcome addition to our existing electrical charging stations," said Dianne Watts, Mayor of Surrey.

The new charging station, which can charge an electric vehicle in 30 minutes, is located in Powertech’s Tech Park. The facility, which is close to the US border and major highways, also includes four ‘level two’ charging stations that can charge an electric vehicle in four hours.

"As more of these fast charging stations open throughout B.C., electric vehicle drivers will have the confidence to travel between communities without worrying about lengthy wait times to charge their cars," said Charles Reid, President and CEO of BC Hydro. "We all have more electronics and are finding new ways to use electricity. BC Hydro is committed to providing our customers with renewable power solutions to meeting their growing energy needs."

Transportation accounts for 38 percent of provincial greenhouse gas emissions. With more than 90 per cent clean electricity generation in B.C., the use of electric vehicles has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

Powertech is a research facility that provides specialized engineering services in the areas of clean energy, independent testing and power system solutions. As a working test lab, the Tech Park allows for observation of the interaction between electric vehicles and the power grid.

The new charging station is available for drivers participating in the BC2BC rally – a nine-day rally that showcases all-electric vehicles on the ‘BC to Baja’ electric highway. More than a dozen vehicles will participate and drive down the West Coast Electric Highway. The rally starts on June 29 at the Canada-US border in B.C., and ends at the California and Mexico border.

All of the electric vehicle charging stations at the Tech Park will be available for the public to use from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

A few facts about electric vehicles

  • Electric vehicles emit 95 to 97 per cent less carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre than gasoline powered vehicles.
  • The average electric vehicle driver in B.C. can save up to $2,340 per year in fuel costs.
  • Drivers charging at Powertech in Surrey can drive to Bellingham, Washington, and back on a single charge.

The charging stations at the Tech Park are part of an expanding electrical infrastructure network that will see 30 DC fast chargers installed in B.C. To find more electric vehicle charging stations, drivers can use Plug Share, Charge Point or BCAA apps or websites for maps and trip planning.