Six electric vehicle charging stations approved for Huntsville
Huntsville Council approved six Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at 11 and 13 High Street, in the February 27, 2023, meeting.
Lakeland Solutions have been in discussions with the Town since 2021 regarding installation of the EV stations, as a part of the Zero Emissions Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) – a 5-year initiative developed to increase the availability of stations in Canada.
The Program, ending in 2024, is aligned with the Town’s Strategic Plan of infrastructure that supports climate change and partnerships that support it.
Lakeland received funding to complete the initiative by November 2024, and their Charging Network will provide universal charging, and tracks usage and markets.
Lakeland initially proposed the immediate installation of 13 charging stations, and included other locations, such as the Active Living Centre. However, after evaluating potential spaces, the Town agreed to start with six stations, and that High Street “is the best recommendation at this time,” said staff Engineering Technician, Brandon Hall.
Hall indicated that lot considerations included how the infrastructure can best meet the demands and provide enough electricity for the chargers.
Councillor, Bob Stone, inquired about whether the stations will increase revenue for the Town.
Hall advised that at this time the revenue generated from the charging stations will be from Lakeland leasing the parking spaces. Currently, the focus is on approving the spots so Lakeland can order the product for them.
Council members discussed concerns about other proposed charging locations, such as the Active Living Centre, agreeing they aren’t compatible given the existing robust activity and congestion.
Mayor, Nancy Alcock, emphasized the current need and demand for the chargers, and said, “I had people contact me about the lack of charging stations in this Town.” She emphasized that although they are for EV’s, they “continue to be parking spots for people charging their cars.”
Council members also discussed potential time limits for the stations, which will be considered further in future meetings, along with the policing of cars parked in those spaces that are not electric.
The Town will lease the parking spaces to Lakeland for 12 years, who will install and maintain the chargers. Site maintenance, such as snow plowing, and ground repair will be the responsibility of the Town.
Councillor, Dan Armour, inquired about what part of the parking lots will be for the charging stations.
Hall indicated that Lakeland requires Council approval first. “They need the commitment first before they get the grant. Council can commit to six with the opportunity to expand.”
Councillor, Dione Schumacher, supported the proposal given the “declared climate emergency.” She added, “I think this is a good step for initiatives Council is committed to agreeing to.”
Council, Cory Clarke, added there will likely be ongoing initiatives for the charging stations, “There will be lots of other grants coming forward…lots of incentives to build them.”