Fast-charging station for electric vehicles opens in southwest Calgary

The first Calgary location of a growing network of fast-charging electric vehicle charging stations in southern Alberta opened in the city’s southwest on Tuesday.

Chargers at Westhills Towne Centre part of network of 20 stations in southern Alberta

The new fast-charging station at Westhills Towne Centre in southwest Calgary has an output of 45 kilowatts, allowing a vehicle to be charged in about half an hour. (Mike Symington/CBC)

The first Calgary location of a growing network of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles in southern Alberta opened in the city's southwest on Tuesday.

The direct current (DC) charger at the Westhills Towne Centre delivers 480 volts of electricity to a vehicle, allowing it to charge in about 30 minutes.

There's also a Level 2 charger at the new station that has an output of 240 volts and takes about two or three hours to charge a vehicle.

The Westhills location is the first of four being installed in Calgary as part of the Peaks to Prairies EV charging network project.

Spokesperson Jennifer Grebeldinger says the Peaks to Prairies Network will have four fast-charging stations in Calgary when the project is complete. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Project spokesperson Jennifer Grebeldinger says the stations will make it easier for electric vehicle drivers to travel for work and leisure around the whole region.

"They want to be able to charge quickly and then get on to their next destination," she said.

When the network is complete, there will be 20 Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) and Level 2 stations installed throughout the southern Alberta region, from Canmore to Medicine Hat, south to Waterton and to the Crowsnest Pass and other stops along the way.

The network is a collaboration involving the municipal governments of Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, as well as Medicine Hat College and two regional economic development organizations, the Southgrow Regional Initiative and Alberta Southwest Regional Alliance.

The network will have 20 stations throughout southern Alberta. (Peaks to Prairies)

Along with seed funds from the founding partners, the $2.2-million project has financial support from Ottawa and the province.

The equipment is owned and operated by ATCO, which is powering the stations with electricity entirely from renewable sources.