Parks Canada adds 18 electric-vehicle charging stations on P.E.I.
The chargers will be free to use and available as conditions permit
Parks Canada has installed 18 electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations at national park sites across Prince Edward Island this summer.
It is part of an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by moving to more electric options.
"Ours is a mid-grade electric vehicle charger so depending on your battery level, it could take up to eight hours to charge your vehicle," said Bill Courtney, Parks Canada asset manager for P.E.I. National Park.
"We offer these electric vehicle chargers free-of-charge. You can come charge your vehicle and enjoy the places."
Equipment for the 18 charging stations was donated by Tesla, while Parks Canada handled the design and installation costs.
Park sites that now have Tesla chargers installed:
- Two at Ardgowan National Historic Site in Charlottetown.
- Six at Green Gables Heritage Place in Cavendish.
- Six in P.E.I. National Park at Brackley Beach.
- Four in P.E.I. National Park at Greenwich.
There were already two electric-vehicle charging stations installed in the P.E.I. National Park at Dalvay — one for visitors by the Dalvay Trail House and the other to be used by Parks Canada's electric fleet.
Parks Canada is using one electric vehicle, a 2019 Nissan Leaf ,and two hybrid vehicles on the Island.
Spark of change
Courtney said Parks Canada will be trying to add EVs to its fleet every year.
"The government of Canada and Parks Canada are endeavouring to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. One way to do that is to move from gasoline and diesel engines to electric vehicles," Courtney said.
"We want, both ourselves, to purchase more electric vehicles and we would like to encourage the travelling public to consider purchasing electric so that they can do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change."
Courtney said $150,000 was spent by Parks Canada to ensure the equipment and infrastructure were properly installed at different park locations.
Parking spaces have been painted to identify where the chargers are so people with EVs know where to park, and others know where not to.
"You're probably familiar with accessible parking spots being blue in some places. There are designated spots for expecting mothers or young families," Courtney said.
"Well, we have green parking spots now and that means it's designated for electric vehicles only."
Courtney said the charging stations will be available year-round but some of the sites do not get plowed during the winter months, so access will be as conditions permit.
CBC reached out to the P.E.I. Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy but no one was made available to comment on the province's current EV fleet or future plans.
Minister Steven Myers recently drove an electric vehicle from tip-to-tip in one day to demonstrate the EV charging station network.
Today is Energy Efficiency Day <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EEDay2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EEDay2020</a>!<br>Minister <a href="https://twitter.com/StevenMyers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StevenMyers</a> is on a cross-Island tour w/staff fr <a href="https://twitter.com/efficiencyPEI?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@efficiencyPEI</a> & TIE dept - driving electric vehicles from govt's fleet, finding EV charging stations across PEI, showing how far an EV can go & debunking other misconceptions. <a href="https://t.co/Q0GyX7Ehp9">pic.twitter.com/Q0GyX7Ehp9</a>—@InfoPEI
The province has encouraged the use of electric vehicles in the 2019 Sustainable Transportation Action Plan.
Currently, it is free to register an EV on P.E.I. and half price for hybrid vehicles.
There is a federal incentive to purchase a zero-emission vehicle through Transport Canada but no further provincial incentives on P.E.I.