You should be able to charge your electric car in the Ross Street Parking Lot, come August.
The process of setting up two electric vehicle charging stations moved closer to its goal at city council’s July 13 meeting, when council authorized a five-year agreement with Zeco Systems Inc. for the use of payment and collection software.
A city staff report notes BC Hydro’s charging station, in partnership with Zeco Systems – a company incorporated in Delaware, is equipped with software that’s activated by a mobile phone app or a key fob.
Zeco, also called Greenlots, is the manufacturer of the software. City staff report that users must sign up online through the Greenlots website and either “pay as you go” through the Greenlots phone app or by utilizing a prepaid credit on their key fob to recharge their vehicle. The service is available to the public 24/7.
BC Hydro recommends that the recharging rate be 35 cents per kilowatt hour. Staff state several municipalities contacted are charging rates consistent with BC Hydro’s recommendation.
The minimum recharge is $2 (an approximate six-hour charge) and the maximum is $8 (about 24 hours). Greenlots charges a 91-cent transaction fee per recharge session.
The annual software licence fees to the city are $261, which the company waived for the first year-and-a-half. The city’s total fixed costs to provide the service would be about $1,500 annually, an amount that would be recouped in 720 visits.
The two charging stations to be installed will be located at the northwest corner of the lot, facing Lakeshore Drive.
Coun. Alan Harrison asked a number of questions, including if there are private recharging stations in town.
Rob Niewenhuizen, director of engineering and public works, said there is one at Okanagan College, one at the Co-op and one at the Comfort Inn – which is reserved for people staying there.
Regarding the opening date, Niewenhuizen said BC Hydro has not informed the city yet.
“They are currently working with a local contractor to co-ordinate the installation date. I would imagine that we should see it sometime in August.”