The Village of Salmo is one of 13 host communities to be part of a successful grant valued at over $90,000 per location to receive an electric vehicle ‘fast charger’ that makes up a network of charging stations across the Kootenays. The Village was identified as a strategic location in the network due to the proximity to Kootenay Pass and the junction point of Highways 3 and 6.
The key objectives of this regional initiative, called Accelerate Kootenays, are to enhance tourism and economic development in our rural region, and to help residents transition to electric vehicles by addressing the technical barrier of charging.
As a publicly funded initiative (currently $1.5 Million), the priority for siting these charging stations has been public lands.
The fast charger siting in Salmo was identified due to the publicly owned land, the ease of access of Highway 3 and the opportunity to bring visitors into the core of the community. The installation in Salmo was recently completed, however the sidewalk re-route was not done to expectation of the Village. This is being addressed immediately, with a significantly improved sidewalk enhancement, maximizing the width behind the station to ensure ease of travel by foot, scooter or stroller.
Closer to the end of January, there will be a ‘soft launch’ of the station followed by a larger region-wide event in the spring which will draw visitors from the US, Alberta and BC to the Kootenays to tour the network, and visit each host community.
Additional highway signage will be installed in partnership with Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure prior to that, in order direct drivers from the highway to the charging station.
More information about the initiative can be found at www.acceleratekootenays.ca.
Accelerate Kootenays in an innovative, region-wide initiative that is made up of a collaboration between the Regional Districts of Kootenay Boundary, Central Kootenay and East Kootenay and funding/in-kind partners: Columbia Basin Trust, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Province of BC, FortisBC and BC Hydro.