Electric vehicle owners will now be able to plug in 100 Mile House. Two electric fast-charging stations in front of the South Cariboo Visitor Centre were opened to the public on Jan. 23.
“They’re for electric vehicles, charging them when you’re on a journey. Basically, [a] really quick, fast charge so you can get to your next location,” says Kara Imhof, an electrical engineer with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
At this point, there’s no fee for using them, she says.
“In the future, a couple of years probably not because BC Hydro is free right now as well.”
Imhof drove the car they were charging up from Vancouver.
“We drove up yesterday, stopping at different locations along the way charging up the vehicle to get up here to do testing.”
They stopped in Hope, Boston Bar and Cache Creek, which all have fast chargers, she says, adding they thought about stopping in Spences Bridge as well but didn’t need to.
“We still had about half a charge left so we said we’d keep going kind of like your gas.”
It took about seven and a half hours, she says.
“It usually takes about around an hour to charge to 80 per cent,” she says. “It was really good. Roads were good.”
Inside the Visitor Centre, they were excited about the new charging stations. When asked if there had been any questions about them there was a clear “oh yes.”
“People have called from as far away as Kamloops asking if they’re going,” says manager Julie Gilmore.
Locals with electric vehicles have also been coming in, says visitor information counsellor Rachel Chequis.
“Last summer, we came across visitors that were in the area looking. They had their electric cars and they thought the stations were up when they weren’t even here yet. They actually had to plug into our building for a while. They had the adaptor so there definitely is a need for it.”
Gilmore added that there are a lot of people on the coast who will only go where their electric vehicles can go.
“If they can’t go by their little EV they won’t go at all.”