Accelerate Kootenays

The village of Salmo is proud to be part of the Accellerate Kootenays network of fast-charge EV stations.

Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs) are planned across the region, with 13 currently installed.  By the end of summer 2018 the network will consist of 40 Level 2 charging stations. Electric vehicle drivers now have a fast charging corridor across Highway 3 in the Kootenays, which by project completion, will provide over 1,800 kilometres of connected electric vehicle travel.

Fast charging stations are critical infrastructure to allow electric vehicle drivers to travel to and within the Kootenay region, connecting communities from Sparwood to Greenwood, Revelstoke to Field, and all communities in between. With Salmo being the “Hub of the Kootenays” the Village is a key link in the connection chain. The new charging stations not only make electric vehicle ownership feasible for Kootenay residents, they have the benefit of allowing tourists driving electric vehicles to visit new and favourite local destinations.

A regional strategy was developed two years ago, which designed a base network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure that would enhance tourism and economic opportunities for Kootenay communities while also providing an opportunity for residents to transition to cleaner fuel vehicles. Fast charging infrastructure is owned and operated by BC Hydro and FortisBC, in their respective service areas. Level 2 stations are installed in partnership with local governments, in strategic locations that will optimize economic co-benefits in the community.

Regional District of Central Kootenay Chair, Karen Hamling, emphasized the local context of the project: “The Accelerate Kootenays project is an opportunity for our communities to show off what’s great about the region, and to draw attention to the innovation that exists here at the community and regional level. We expect the project to attract new visitors to the region, benefiting our communities in a variety of ways.

The two-year, $1.8 million project is the result of an innovative collaboration between all levels of government as well as funding agencies that have worked together to address the charging infrastructure gap across the region. The initiative highlights the opportunities for electric vehicles in the Kootenays, using communications and marketing to bring a local context to the growing technology.

The project has been made possible by an unprecedented local collaboration led by the Regional Districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary, and includes in-kind and funding contributions from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund TM (GMF) and the Government of Canada, Columbia Basin Trust, B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Teck, FortisBC, BC Hydro and Powertech Labs.

Under the Green Municipal Fund (GMF), the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities announced a grant to support Accelerate Kootenays in February. GMF supports initiatives that advance innovative solutions to environmental challenges.

The Accelerate Kootenays project is facilitated by Community Energy Association. For more information and a map of current and planned locations visit www.accelerateKootenays.ca.

The Village’s fast charging EV station accommodates all electric vehicle types and is located just outside the Village office on Main Street.  The Village also has two Tesla-specific charging stations located on the other side of the village office.