Municipal council supports submitting grants to bring in electric vehicle chargers

(© Can Stock Photo / bwylezich)

West Perth Council have supported a push to submit grants to potentially bring new electric vehicle chargers to the area.

CAO Jeff Brick says the first proposal would be part of a regional partnership involving Perth, Huron, Grey, Bruce, Wellington and Dufferin to bring new Level 3 chargers to the region. Brick says those chargers are roughly $150,000 and the 6- County Regional EV Network would submit for a grant from the Federal Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) to cover half the costs.

“They’re a very expensive piece of infrastructure, but from an economic development and tourism perspective, and the fact you may have people passing through your communities that need a charge, they’re a critical part of the electric vehicle infrastructure that’s going to be needed in the future.”

The 17 charger proposal would include Level 3 chargers, which charge electric vehicles in 30 minutes to an hour, installed in the downtowns of Listowel and Mitchell, and Brick says there’s a simple reason for choosing those locations.

“That would be the kind of location where you would set it up and it would have the proper dwell time, for someone to stop in and grab a full charge in half an hour to an hour, and visit some of the local businesses or have a lunch, or something like that.”

Brick notes that the other half of the costs on top of a potentially successful grant application would not fall on the municipalities in question.

“The way it would operate is that we would be procuring, in cooperation with the other partners, we would procure an operator to install, operate and maintain the chargers, and they would pay the local share of the cost. There would be 17 of these chargers across the partnership network.”

In terms of the two Level 3 chargers that could come to West and North Perth, respectively, Brick says the application to the federal program will be submitted later this summer.

“It’s due to be submitted for the grant here in August and if we are successful, the Listowel one should go in next year, and the Mitchell one would go in the year following or perhaps even next year.”

Additionally, West Perth is looking to apply for more federal funding alongside ERTH Corporation to bring new Level 2 chargers to Mitchell. Brick says they have already sized up an area to install them.

“We’ve identified, between the municipal office public parking lots that are there, and Keterson Park, which is at the arena and community centre, we’ve identified 10 charger locations that we will include in the grant and we could phase in over the life of the project.”

The Level 2 chargers are significantly cheaper than Level 3 ones, but Brick says if the grant application for federal funding is successful, once again, West Perth won’t be on the hook for any costs associated.

“Those local Level 2 chargers are about, somewhere in the area of 10-15 thousand dollars per pair, as a pedestal with 2 chargers, and if we have the infrastructure in place we’ll be able to keep that price to the lower end. If we can get a 50 percent grant from the federal government again through the program, and then work with ERTH Corporation to install and operate them, they would pay the other 50 percent share, and again, we’d have a case where we get service provided to the community that doesn’t cost the municipality.”