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Car chargers sought for Downtown Brockville
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An electric vehicle charging station awaits users at the St. Lawrence College parking lot on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 in Brockville. (RONALD ZAJAC/The Recorder and Times)

Ronald Zajac, February 9, 2016 - Recorder and Times

Downtown Brockville is hoping to get electric car drivers to plug in and shop.

City councillors heard Tuesday the Downtown Brockville Business Improvement Area (DBIA) is applying to the province for funding of three charging stations for electric vehicles in the core.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for downtown and the city of Brockville to continue to find ways to attract new visitors to the downtown core,” Meg Plooy, the DBIA’s executive director, told city council’s regular meeting.

The DBIA has applied for a provincial grant to cover a nearly $200,000 project that would see the installation of three electric vehicle charging stations in the main core, said Plooy.

Two of them, known as “Level Two units” with charging capabilities for two vehicles, would be set up at the Ernie Fox Quay and Ferry Street, while a more powerful “Level Three” unit, also capable of charging two vehicles, would go to the Buell Street parking lot.

Level Two stations take up to three hours to charge vehicles, Gord McFarlane, a technical consultant for the Chevy Volt, told council.

“Level three is the current state of the art,” added McFarlane.

“You can charge your vehicle to about 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes.”

Councillor Jeff Earle joked that the Level Two units are preferable, as they would keep drivers in the downtown core longer.

The DBIA notes there are roughly 350,000 electric vehicle owners in Canada.

“Being on the 401 corridor, we’re really nicely positioned for this,” he added.

Last March, McFarlane appeared before Brockville council’s planning committee urging the city to set up more electric car charging stations.

At the time, McFarlane touted the firm Sun Country Highway’s “Municipal Destination Program,” which offers cities up to three electric car charging stations at no cost, provided the city pays for their installation and operation.

Brockville now has two electric car charging stations, one at St. Lawrence College and another at the city’s only Volt dealer, Riverside Chevrolet.

Among the questions city officials had to consider was what public parking spots should be taken up by electric car chargers.

Another key consideration was who pays for the power off the grid.

McFarlane told council Tuesday electric car drivers will pay for use of the charging stations the DBIA hopes to secure.

The application for provincial funding must be submitted by Friday, he added.

Councillors had few questions about the initiative and were not required to vote on the matter.

Read the full article at Recorder and Times