Colwood resident Judith Cullington holds up a fast charger cable at the Juan de Fuca Park & Ride. The new electric car fast-charging station

Colwood resident Judith Cullington holds up a fast charger cable at the Juan de Fuca Park & Ride. The new electric car fast-charging station

Colwood installs first fast charger on the West Shore

Electric vehicle drivers have new option in Colwood

The city of Colwood is taking charge. The West Shore’s first electric car fast-charger is in operation at the Colwood Park & Ride and can recharge a depleted vehicle battery to 80 per cent capacity in approximately half an hour. Colwood is only the second municipality in the Capital Region, after Saanich, to have a fast-charger available to the public.

Former Colwood councillor Judith Cullington, who drives a Nissan Leaf electric car, appreciates the new charger and said the unit not only benefits the environment, it can help the economy in Colwood.

“The fast charger is attracting even more (drivers who) can come in and do a fast charge,” she said. “It’s going to take them 20 to 30 minutes. That’s a perfect amount of time to go grab some lunch; go grab a cup of coffee.

“We see this location as being really important… It’s next to coffee shops, restaurants and local business. You want to put your fast charger somewhere where you have business, because you are driving business to them.”

With the City already a recognized leader in the area of sustainability, said Coun. Gordie Logan, the move to secure a fast-charger made sense.

“With the success of the Solar Colwood program and with funding from the BC Clean Energy Program and the Government of Canada’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, how could we not (get one)?” he said.

The fast-charging station was provided free to the municipality through the provincial program and is unique from Saanich’s Uptown offering, boasting two duel-charging heads to accommodate two cars of all makes. The new chargers are more effective than past Level 2 models, which generally take approximately four hours, eight times longer, to achieve a similar level of charge.

“It feels great to have the first fast-charger of its kind on Vancouver Island. It means that people with all different makes of electric vehicles can visit Colwood and get a real charge doing so,” Logan said.

The city pays for the use of the electricity and the fast charger is currently free to the public. A small fee is expected to be implemented at some point in the future to cover the operation costs of the station. The more prevalent Level 2 chargers are currently available in six locations around Colwood: Colwood City Hall, Juan de Fuca Library, Royal Roads University, next to London Drugs, Royal Bay Bakery and at the Park & Ride.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com