Powertech Labs has joined a new collaborative project to deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the rural Kootenays Region of British Columbia. “Accelerate Kootenays” is Canada’s first community-driven collaborative strategy to promote the adoption of EVs in a rural context. Powertech will oversee operations and maintenance for the charging stations, as well as provide technical expertise for site design.

SURREY, BC, Canada – April 10, 2017 —
Powertech Labs has joined a new collaborative project to deploy 50 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout British Columbia’s rural Kootenays Region.

The project, called “Accelerate Kootenays,” is Canada’s first community-driven collaborative strategy to promote the adoption of EVs in a rural context. The project was made possible through an innovative collaboration between local, provincial, and federal governments and regional partners.

The charging stations will be installed, owned, and operated through a partnership between Powertech, BC Hydro, and FortisBC. Powertech will oversee operations and maintenance, as well as provide technical expertise for site design. BC Hydro and FortisBC will own the charging stations.

A special event was held April 6, 2017 to officially launch the project and to celebrate the opening of the first direct current (DC) fast charging station in Cranbrook, B.C.
Speaking at the event, Raymond Lings, president and CEO of Powertech Labs, noted, “This partnership represents an innovative approach to advancing an electric vehicle charging network in a region with mountain ranges, extreme weather, and long distances between communities. The project will demonstrate a replicable solution for deploying electric vehicle technology in a rural context, and we are pleased to be involved.”

At the launch event, Lings was joined by other key players in the partnership, including Hon. Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and Kootenay East MLA, and Diane Tammen, BCHydro East Kootenay Community Energy Manager.

Timetable for Station Deployment

Over the next two years, the project will facilitate the installation of 10 fast charging stations and 40 level 2 charging stations across the region, along with a marketing initiative to promote EV tourism. Fast charging stations allow vehicles to charge from 0% to 80% in approximately 20 minutes, and level 2 charging stations take four to six hours for an 80% charge.

Fast charging stations are critical infrastructure to allow EV drivers to travel through the Kootenay region, which is the source for 50% of B.C.’s hydroelectric power. The new stations are expected to be installed by March 2019 and will connect communities from Sparwood to Greenwood, Revelstoke to Field, and all communities in between.

The launch of the Accelerate Kootenays project follows an announcement in February by the provincial government to invest an additional $40 million to support the transition to clean energy vehicles through the Clean Energy Vehicle Program.

BC Hydro’s Support for EVs

Since 2009, BCHydro has been exploring the potential impact of EVs on the electric grid as well as ways to remove barriers to their adoption in B.C. Work completed to date includes the deployment of 31 DC fast charging stations across the province, which makes intercity EV travel a practical alternative.

As part of Module 2 of the utility’s Rate Design Application, BCHydro is evaluating rate structures that will help EV owners save money by shifting vehicle charging to off-peak hours. The utility will continue to provide public charging options to customers who don’t have access to charging facilities at home or at work, and also investigate further expansion of the DC fast charging network to increase the number of driving routes possible for EV owners.

Powertech’s EV Services for British Columbia

Powertech Labs supports the rapidly expanding EV market by providing engineering and consulting services to local and global clientele. We are leading experts in all aspects of EV technologies—from infrastructure and smart grid integration, to fleet deployments and component testing. Powertech offers customized EV solutions including: turnkey infrastructure deployments, consulting services, fleet management and optimization, data collection and analytics engineering services, and industrial design.

Powertech has pioneered the development of EV infrastructure by implementing numerous EV charging installations throughout the British Columbia lower mainland. We have partnered with local businesses and government agencies to create a network of charging stations that make it convenient, reliable, and easy to power your EV.

For more information contact:
Alec Tsang – 604.616.8557
Manager, Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and Services
Advanced Transportation