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Chilliwack to get charging stations

The future is almost here.

Chilliwack residents and visitors will one day soon be able to recharge an electric car or scooter for free at new charging stations.

"We're pretty excited," said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. "This is laying the groundwork for a new technology. We all want to know that we're leaving a softer footprint."

Battery-powered electric vehicles create zero tailpipe emissions.

Electronic charging stations are scheduled to be installed by the end of March at Chilliwack City Hall, and at Tourism Chilliwack on Luckakuck Way.

With the new infrastructure, Chilliwack will be plugging into an electronic charging network in B.C. of more than 500 stations.

"What they're saying with this project is they want to create a charging network so motorists can drive with confidence in the knowledge they're not going to run out of electricity," said Gaetz. "Good on them for getting the jump on this."

With air quality such a big topic in the region, it makes sense to head in this direction, said Marion Robinson, manager of Fraser Basin Council in the Fraser Valley.

"If we don't provide the infrastructure, they won't buy the vehicles."

The Chilliwack mayor said she's already heard from a Vancouver resident looking forward to plugging in to the new stations.

The total cost for the charging equipment is $26000. Of that, $12000 came from a Community Charging Infrastructure fund, while Chilliwack's share of the purchase and installation costs is $14000.

The Tourism Chilliwack station will be ideal for vehicles coming off the highway and for traffic from Heritage Park, according to city staff. The City Hall site will have two plug-ins, one for electric scooters and wheelchairs, and the other for vehicles.

The pilot project envisions a province-wide network of up to 570 electric vehicle charging stations, accessible at no charge to the public or fleets through a new $2.74 million Community Charging Infrastructure Fund. CCI fund is managed by the Fraser Basin Council.

More at: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2012/09/communities-plugging-in-to-promote-electric-vehicles.html

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/CHWKjourno

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