Paying for power

For drivers with electric vehicles, the decision by municipal council to provide free power at the three charging stations is welcome news.

For drivers with electric vehicles, the decision by municipal council to provide free power at the three charging stations is welcome news.

On Monday, council chose to provide free power at the stations, at least for a six-month trial period.

This is in line with the direction taken in many but not all other B.C. communities where charging stations are provided as a free service.

The cost of charging is low, at an estimated cost to the municipality of $2.28 to charge a Nissan Leaf and less for other electric vehicles.

While the charging stations have technology in place to allow charging motorists for the power they use, the nearby 120-volt plugs to charge scooters, electric bikes and golf carts are not set up to bill the users. Adding a metering system to these outlets would require 10,000 people using the service before the cost of metering system was paid. The cost hardly seems sensible at present

In addition, one must consider the time it takes to charge an electric car. While the vehicle is charging, the owner is in the downtown area, likely stopping at local businesses and spending money here while waiting.

Still, when municipal spending is carefully scrutinized and when a significant number of Summerlanders want to see reductions to municipal spending, the decision to provide charging stations for free may be criticized on principle.

Furthermore, free power could be seen as a subsidy for electric vehicle owners, since drivers of gasoline or diesel vehicles must pay for the fuel they consume.

In the next few years, as electric vehicles become more popular, the electrical demand may become great enough that it is no longer workable for the municipality to provide free power at the charging stations.

At that point, the billing method must be revisited.

 

Just Posted

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Art and music at Summerland Ornamental Gardens

Second event of the summer will be held Sunday, Aug. 25

New Penticton/Kelowna transit route ready to roll out

Route 70 Penticton/Kelowna will provide a direct trip to Kelowna from Penticton and Summerland

South Okanagan powwow strikes a chord on the human level for federal minister

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan was the special guest at powwow

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

Okanagan RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Vernon Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Most Read