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West Kelowna  

No power charger at Boucherie

West Kelowna council ignored its own staff advice and said no to a free BC Hydro fast charging station at the Mount Boucherie Complex.

Council had earlier agreed to look into a request by the utility giant to install one of the stations in the municipality.

It's part of a program in which Hydro will deploy 30 direct current fast charging stations across the province to provide more opportunities for electric vehicles to travel across the province.

Staff recommended three sites for the charging station including the Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre, the Tourist Information Centre and Mount Boucherie Complex.

BC Hydro opted for the Boucherie option, however, council nixed it.

The vote was unanimous.

"Rarely do we have unanimity with this new council but it was unanimous that it was simply the wrong location," said Mayor Doug Findlater.

"As BC Hydro is trying to build a network of these things...so people can travel you want it in a place where people travelling through would have something to do. Unless they were carrying skates there would probably not be too much to do at Mount Boucherie."

Findlater said he believes motorists would benefit more from having the charging station at the Tourist Information Centre which is closer to shopping and other amenities.

However, the idea is not dead. Findlater stated staff will continue to work with BC Hydro to make one of the other locations work or find a new location.

A vehicle could achieve an 80 per cent charge in 20 to 30 minutes using a fast charging station as opposed to a 120 volt station which would require several hours to achieve the same result.

BC Hydro is attempting to create a Southern Interior Highway Loop Network by placing these charging stations up and down the valley.

Only Kelowna would be excluded because FortisBC, and not BC Hydro, provides power to the city.

BC Hydro would assume the cost of installation which the municipality would be responsible for some maintenance, estimated at about $1,000 a year.

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