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Two new EV charging stations coming to Eddie Bush lot

Town secures federal tourism grant funding to help with the cost of the two Level 3 charging stations, with the remaining funds being cost-shared with EPCOR

In the not-so-distant future, more electric vehicle owners will be able to get a charge when they come to Collingwood.

During Monday’s (June 20) regular meeting, councillors voted in favour of spending $50,000 on two new electric vehicle charging stations in collaboration with EPCOR, to be placed in the public parking lot beside the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena.

“These discussions started before COVID-19, but with COVID and everything going on, they paused for a while,” Treasurer Monica Quinlan told councillors. “This new grant program was initiated so we picked up those discussions again with EPCOR.”

As part of the EPCOR purchase agreement, EPCOR was required (if economically feasible) to install electric vehicle charging stations within the town. Under this agreement, EPCOR would be the ultimate owner of these stations, however the town would own and operate the units once the project is complete.

After receiving a $50,000 grant through the federal Tourism Relief Fund, the town and EPCOR came to agreement to each contribute $50,000 toward the installation of two Level 3 charging stations as a joint project, pending council approval.

The $50,000 will be funded from the town’s Capital Contingency Reserve. The ongoing operational costs associated with the purchase will be covered through the fees charged to the person using the charging stations.

Coun. Deb Doherty noted she attended the unveiling of other charging stations in town recently, and said she received some information on the community uptake of the stations.

“It appears the revenue off the chargers will cover the operating costs, and some element of capital. The uptake has been fantastic,” said Doherty.

Quinlan said the uptake is expected to increase this summer.

Currently, the town has six charging stations through FLO, and staff is recommending the new stations come from the same supplier so long-term maintenance contracts will be less expensive.

Eddie Bush Arena was chosen as the location as there is opportunity for expansion down the road, as well as being accessible to both visitors and community members and providing a strong link to the downtown core.

At the end of discussions, council voted unanimously in favour of receiving the report and spending $50,000 to support the project.