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Tesla Superchargers at Chilliwack’s Cottonwood Centre open for business

12 stalls activated this week add to the growing electric vehicle infrastructure in Fraser Valley
Tesla drivers dry out the newly opened Tesla Supercharger at Cottonwood Centre in Chilliwack on Feb. 17, 2022. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

A dozen more electric vehicle charging stations became operational in Chilliwack this week.

That is, if you drive a Tesla.

The Tesla Supercharger station with 12 stalls became operational as of Feb. 15 in the parking lot of the Cottonwood Centre mall on Luckakuck Way.

Mall management announced the activation of the superchargers, which have been in place since late 2021, in a Facebook post.

“This brings us to a total of 17 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on the property,” according to the post.

The 12 add to the one EV charging station at Vancity credit union, and four at Save-On-Foods. There are apparently two more coming by the end of 2022.

While the Tesla Superchargers are only available to Tesla drivers, the additional EV capacity adds to the growing number of EV chargers across the city.

There are currently chargers at city hall, the Fraser Valley Regional District building, the Chilliwack Visitor Centre. The University of the Fraser Valley has two charging stations, and there is a Tesla “destination” charger and a regular EV charger at the Coast Hotel.

At city council’s Feb. 15 meeting, they announced the purchase of 10 dual-port level 2 chargers and two single port level 3 fast chargers for various locations. New charging stations will be installed at: Victoria Avenue public parking lot, city hall, Chilliwack Visitor Centre, Chilliwack Courthouse, Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre, Sardis Sports Complex, and the Chilliwack Operations Centre.

The Tesla Superchargers at the mall help fill a gap in the Eastern Fraser Valley. There were already 22 superchargers in Hope at two locations, and 12 at Highstreet Shopping Centre in Abbotsford.

The superchargers aren’t free. Drivers are billed per kilowatt hour in most cases, although in some location they bill by the minute.

There are more than 30,000 superchargers worldwide. While Tesla Superchargers are not currently available to other EV drivers in North America, the company did launch a non-Tesla Supercharger pilot program in November 2021, but only in France, The Netherlands, and Norway.

“It’s always been our ambition to open the Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs, and by doing so, encourage more drivers to go electric,” according to the Tesla website.

“We’re starting with a select number of sites so that we can review the experience, monitor congestion and assess feedback before expanding. Future sites will only be opened to non-Tesla vehicles if there is available capacity.”

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Tesla drivers dry out the newly opened Tesla Supercharger at Cottonwood Centre in Chilliwack on Feb. 17, 2022. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)