New EV charging station installed at Rogers Pass Discovery Centre

The Accelerate Kootenays electric vehicle (EV) charging network has now completed the installation of 13 direct current fast chargers (DCFC) across the Kootenay region.

A new DCFC charging station has been installed in the parking lot outside of the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. Photo: Unsplash.

A collaborative effort from the Accelerate Kootenays electric vehicle (EV) charging network and BC Hydro has enabled the installation of the first-ever charging stations in Canada’s national parks.

Glacier National Park at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre and Yoho National Park at the Visitors Centre in Field are the first parks to benefit from the DCFC charging stations. In a recent press release, Accelerate Kootenays expressed that these highly-anticipated new stations will cover a critical gap for EV travel between Calgary and Vancouver.

“These locations will enhance the safety of EV travel along the Trans-Canada highway, especially during winter months,” a spokesperson for Accelerate Kootenays said.

An excerpt from a map of planned and already-installed electric charging stations. Photo: Google Maps/ Accelerate Kootenays.

So, what’s the difference between Level 2 and DCFC charging stations? All plug-in EVs sold in North America since 2011 are equipped with a socket compatible with Level 2 charging stations. However, only all-electric vehicles (BEV) with a CHAdeMO or SAE Combo sockets are compatible with the new DCFC stations at Glacier and Yoho. The benefit of the DCFC stations is that they are quick and powerful; they provide an 80% charge to most EVs in a half hour, against a Level 2 which takes the best part of three hours to fully charge.

New DCFC stations will charge most EVs to 80% in thirty minutes. Photo: Unsplash.

The timing of these installations coincides with recent efforts made by federal and provincial governments to promote cleaner energy through zero-emission vehicle standards. As such, the Province of British Columbia has backed multiple incentive programs which encourage the use of electric vehicles as a primary mode of transportation.

The Province has renewed funding for the Clean Energy Vehicle Incentive Program (CEVforBC). The program offers up to $6,000 off the purchase price of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and up to $5,000 off a qualifying new battery electric vehicle.

Funding is also provided by the Province for the Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive Program, which offers rebates between $2,000 and $50,000 depending on vehicle type. A variety of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle types (including motorcycle, low-speed vehicles, forklifts and more) are eligible for the rebate.

BC SCRAP-IT works in a similar way, by incentivizing B.C. residents to replace higher polluting vehicles with cleaner forms of transportation. All scraped vehicles are permanently and properly recycled. The program offers up to $6,000 for a new qualifying electric vehicle and $3,000 for a used one.

A byproduct of the promotion of greener energy in B.C, is the recognition of the importance of connecting the province from one end to another with a reliable EV charging infrastructure.

The new EV charging network by Accelerate Kootenays has been backed in a big way. So far, the project has over $1.5 million in funding. The project has received $600,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust, $350,000 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, $300,000 from the Government of B.C., $190,000 from FortisBC and $30,000 each from regional districts (East Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary and Central Kootenay).

More information on the current EV charging network, as well as future plans, is available at