Electric vehicle charging station in Saanich. July 9, 2020. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

West Kelowna electric vehicle charging station on hold

The City of West Kelowna wants to rework a ten-year operating agreement with BC Hydro

The future of an electric vehicle charging station in West Kelowna is currently on hold.

Staff told the council that BC Hydro approached the city to ask if the corporation can take over the fast-charging station at Brown Road near the Westbank Town Centre, which means the city would no longer be responsible for operational costs and future capital.

In return, BC Hydro wants a ten-year license to occupy the area.

Having BC Hydro operate the station would save the City of West Kelowna $5,000 in operating costs, with the utility responsible for maintaining the station as well.

Coun. Doug Findlater voiced his support right away.

“Instead of getting everybody on a bike or a bus, I think this is the way to go to change the way vehicles are propelled,” he said.

“By all means, we should be moving this day.”

But Coun. Rick de Jong said he had a significant concern.

“It’s not to do with the operation of electric vehicles or this charging station per se. I support both,” he said.

“My concern, Mr. Mayor, is ten years is a long time for us to commit to providing this to BC Hydro for access. Westbank Centre will continue to evolve and vitalize. And our termination in this agreement is virtually non-existent… we only have a right to cancel and terminate if they fail to use the charging station for a period of six months.”

De Jong said what he wanted to see was for the agreement to have a termination clause for the city. Staff said they also noticed the lack of a termination clause for the city, and that this is something they can look into before the city signs off on the agreement.

Mayor Gord Milsom said if BC Hydro doesn’t agree to the termination clause, they’ll ask for a five-year agreement instead.

The council voted to defer signing the agreement while city staff continues to rework the agreement with BC Hydro.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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