EV charging stations were installed at the public pay parking lot at 313 Ellis Street in 2019. There also ones at City Hall. (File photo)

EV charging stations were installed at the public pay parking lot at 313 Ellis Street in 2019. There also ones at City Hall. (File photo)

Penticton opts to keep electric charging fees despite year-long decline in usage

People can charge their vehicles for two hours before a $2 fee kicks in

More steps have been taken by the City of Penticton to encourage the use of electric vehicles in an effort to reduce half of the community’s carbon footprint.

Electric charging fees will remain in place after council approved a proposal on Tuesday, April 5, calling for the $2 hourly rates to stay, with drivers getting the first couple of hours free.

There are currently four charging stations at 307 Ellis Street, with two more on the way to Penticton City Hall later this month as part of a parking lot update.

It takes about four to six hours for a vehicle’s battery to charge at one of the stations, city staff estimates.

In November 2020, a free electric promotion was introduced by the city to allow people to charge their vehicles at no cost for one year.

On Tuesday, though, the steps were taken to generate more revenue and cover the costs of managing the stations.

The public combined for a total of 1,931 charging sessions during the free promotion period.

Since the initial $2 hourly rate was implemented on Jan. 1, 2021, the city saw a reduction in electric vehicle charging sessions.

“The decline in usage does not support the vehicle electrification goals of the community climate action plan,” said David Kassian, the city’s community sustainability coordinator.

Tuesday’s proposal provided council with a middle ground to include both free charging hours and a “graduated” fee structure.

The city generated over $2,600 in 2021, after being forced to dish out $3,575 in expenses to operate its charging stations.

Kassian added that the number of publicly available charging stations will soon be expanded.

READ MORE: Theft remains ‘a risk’ with Penticton’s $25k purchase for staff e-bikes

READ MORE: West Kootenay town nixes ‘free’ charging station for EVs


@lgllockhart
logan.lockhart@pentictonwesternnews.com

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City CouncilElectric vehiclesPenticton