With $2 million in funding from the federal government, Alberta will be adding 260 electric vehicle charging stations across the province by 2023
Electric vehicles drivers in Alberta will soon have access to more charging stations after the Canadian government announced it will be investing $2 million in charging infrastructure throughout the province.
The federal funding, provided by Natural Resources Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) will be added to the province’s existing Electric Vehicle Charging rebate program, set up by the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) last year.
“The MCCAC is a collaborative initiative between Alberta’s municipal associations —the Alberta Municipalities and the Rural Municipalities of Alberta — and the Government of Alberta…[mandated to] to deliver funding, technical assistance and education to communities to help lower energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve climate resilience,” said Calvin Lechelt, program lead for the Electric Vehicle Charging Program in an interview with Electric Autonomy Canada.
The Alberta government will build on the federal government’s contributions, bringing the total funding available for EV chargers to $3.4 million.
Available exclusively to municipalities and non-profit community-related organizations, the funding will cover up to 100 per cent of the costs to purchase and install the 260 EV charging stations. In an email exchange with Electric Autonomy, NRCan confirmed the charging stations will be a mix of Level 2 as well as DC fast chargers and will be operational by March 2023.
Application process for municipalities
Municipalities interested in installing chargers are asked to submit an Expression of Interest application as soon as possible, says Lechelt, as applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis and accepted based on demand. The Centre will help municipalities research installation locations, types of chargers, signage and present an itemized list of quotes for buying and installing charging stations before a more formal application is submitted and reviewed.
Once a municipality’s project is approved, it will be their responsibility to choose the location for the charger or chargers that best suits the needs of their community, but “we would evaluate that to make sure that they’re considering all kinds of variables when it comes to EV charging,” adds Lechelt, such as site visibility and access to amenities. The chargers can be installed in public places, on streets locations, at recreation centres and other municipal-owned facilities for charging light-duty vehicles.
“We are proud to lead the charge in the largest investment in EV charging stations in Alberta to date,” said Trina Innes, executive director at the MCCAC in a press statement.
“The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre is poised to support all Alberta municipalities — large and small — to prepare for the increased demand for EV charging infrastructure.”
Need for more public EV chargers
Launched in 2019, the five-year federal ZEVIP program has a total investment of $280 million to use to grow public charging infrastructure across Canada.
“We’re making electric vehicles more affordable and accessible for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Investing in more charging stations like the ones announced in Alberta will allow more Canadians to be in the driver’s seat on the road to a net-zero future and help achieve our climate goals, said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources in the press statement.
Currently, Alberta only has 255 EV chargers installed throughout the province. In addition to doubling the current public charger quota, Lechelt hopes the new investment from Ottawa will be a launching pad for more investment.
“There are significant gaps in the EV charging network in Alberta, and particularly east-west and north of Edmonton, says Lechelt. “In southern Alberta, the EV charging network there is certainly more established, but there is still more work to do around secondary highways and even major highways. So, we’re excited to play a role in that continued and accelerated EV growth in Alberta.”