British Columbia

B.C. national parks are first in Canada to get electric vehicle charging stations

Glacier National Park and Yoho National Park, both along the Trans-Canada Highway in B.C., are the first parks in the country to have electric vehicle charging stations installed.

Chargers in Glacier and Yoho parks complete network of stations across the Kootenays

Greg Hill prepares for a day of skiing in Glacier National Park while his electric vehicle charges up. (Submitted by Travis Rousseau)

Two of Canada's mountain parks have gone electric.

Glacier National Park and Yoho National Park, both along the Trans-Canada Highway in B.C., are the first parks in the country to have electric vehicle charging stations installed.

The two locations complete a network of stations across the Kootenay region, where the non-profit group Accelerate Kootenays has been working to get more than 50 of the chargers installed.

"The Government of Canada is committed to protecting nature, parks, and wild spaces," said federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. "We are pleased to see new and innovative initiatives like the Accelerate Kootenays project".

'Improve the reliability of electric travel'

Few places are as challenging for electric cars as the mountains of B.C. They are steep, often cold and services can be hundreds of kilometres apart.

"So, providing access to charging in those two locations is going to greatly improve the reliability of electric travel across that corridor," said Megan Lohmann with Accelerate Kootenays. 

Lohmann said the stations provide better access for electric vehicle owners wanting to drive steep, mountainous terrain between Vancouver and Calgary.

"So, we're really optimistic we will continue to see more electric vehicles being purchased by locals."

They hope more tourism will be associated with electric vehicle travel in the future, said Lohmann.

Under the Accelerate Kootenays initiative, 57 chargers — including 13 fast chargers — are now in operation across the region, at a cost of around $2 million.

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