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City of Cold Lake completes new EV charging stations, adds electric vehicles to its fleet

Two new EV charging stations are now complete in the City of Cold Lake - one at City Hall and the other at the Energy Centre.
City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland charges one of the City's EV vehicles.

COLD LAKE - In an effort to embrace environmentally friendly technology and accommodate the demand for electric vehicles (EVs), the City of Cold Lake embarked on a forward-thinking initiative in 2022.  

With a resounding budget approval of $250,000, the City laid the groundwork for the installation of two electric vehicle (EV) chargers within the community. This central move, backed by $150,000 from municipal funds and a $100,000 grant from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program administered by Natural Resources Canada's Clean Fuels Branch, signalled a step toward fostering the sustainable transportation alternative. 

The installation of two 100 kW DC Fast chargers at key locations - City Hall and the Energy Centre front parking lots - is now complete. The units are on track and are now operational.  

Due to the completion of the project, Cold Lake's administration undertook measures to establish a structured user fee system. Extensive research culminated in the drafting of Policy No. 231-OP-23, the Electric Vehicle Charging Station User Fee Policy.  

This comprehensive policy, presented to the Corporate Priorities Committee of the Council on Nov. 21, 2023, aims to institute a transparent and consistent framework for determining user fees. It presents principles for fee review, development, implementation, and assessment, ensuring fairness and practicality in pricing for users, according to the City of Cold Lake. 

Azam Khan, general manager of infrastructure services, explained the current charging structure for electric vehicles, noting, “It’s just establishing a fee of 50 cents per minute at this time, and we will do a review as we establish how the expenses will come, then we will bring it back to council for further review.” 

Khan further noted the accessibility of the electric chargers, stating, “You will have to have a phone or app, or you can actually sign up for a card. Flo (the charging station company) can send you a card, and it has to be pre-charged through your personal credit card.” 

Expanding its own EV fleet 

Additionally, the City of Cold Lake has expanded its vehicle fleet by procuring two electric vehicles. Among the recent acquisitions is the 2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5, obtained at a cost slightly exceeding $60,000. A rebate of $14,000, facilitated by the Electric Vehicles for Municipalities Program, made the purchase more affordable for the municipality. 

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 has been specifically allocated for use within the Municipal Enforcement fleet, underscoring the City's commitment to exploring sustainable solutions within law enforcement and public safety initiatives.  

Simultaneously, an electric John Deere Gator has found its niche within the Parks department, serving a myriad of functions including park and trail maintenance, cemetery upkeep, as well as facilitating indoor operations for event setup and dismantling, according to the City of Cold Lake. 

The Electric Vehicle Charging Station User Fee Policy was approved by council during the Nov. 28 meeting, signalling the go-ahead for implementation of the policy. 

Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Chantel Downes is a graduate of The King's University, with a passion for writing and storytelling. Originally from Edmonton, she received her degree in English and has a minor in communications.
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