New electric vehicle charger in Squamish | Squamish Chief

New electric vehicle charger in Squamish

Charger at Squamish Liquor Store is one of few accessible chargers in B.C.

There's a new charger in town.

A recently completed fast-charging electric vehicle charger has been erected in the Squamish Liquor Store parking lot at Chieftain Centre.

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Any electric vehicle can charge there, but Teslas will need an adapter, said Maxime Charron, president of Leading Ahead Energy, which installed the infrastructure for the two-car capacity station.

For a limited time, it is free to charge, to get drivers accustomed to the new location, but ultimately drivers will be able to pay by credit card for their charge via the SWTCH  app.

To get a full charge, depending on the vehicle, tales from 20 minutes to an hour.

More and more people in the Sea to Sky Corridor are driving EVs, Charron said.

"It is booming like crazy," he said, adding that about 10 to 15 vehicles per day are already charging at the newly installed charger.

Unlike most in the province, this charger is accessible.

"Over 90% of B.C. fast-chargers.... don't have handicap access or disability access," Charron said, adding more people are going to be driving EVs in the future and if people with mobility issues can't use most of the chargers, "that is going to become a huge problem."

Squamish Liquor Store store commissioned the project.

Charging stations cost between $45,000 to $60,000, if the power is accessible from the spot.

In this case, a transformer had to be added to connect the charger to the BC Hydro grid, increasing the cost of installation.

The government has grants for installing chargers, Charron said, "but that is not going to be forever."

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