May 22, 2014
The Manitoba government and The Forks have partnered to launch Winnipeg's first, publicly accessible electric-vehicle charging station to support and encourage the use of clean, electric-powered transportation, Municipal Government Minister Stan Struthers announced at The Forks.
"Although electric vehicles are still a relatively new concept, we are pleased to support the installation of this charging station at The Forks, providing a handy, central location where owners of electric cars can recharge their batteries," said Minister Struthers. "As electric vehicles gain acceptance and popularity, our province's low-priced electricity will help make this option more affordable and an attractive alternative to fossil-fuelled vehicles."
The new electric-vehicle (EV) charging station is installed at a dedicated EV-only parking space located near The Forks Market main entrance by the Pancake House restaurant.
"We're thrilled to be the first public EV station in the city. With the number of visitors we welcome and our own target zero initiatives, it makes perfect sense," said Jim August, chief executive officer, The Forks. "We hope to add the success of this EV station to a list of green initiatives that include a geothermal heat-pump system, converting waste fryer oil to biofuel, a site-wide recycling and biocomposting program, and many other initiatives."
Minister Struthers noted while the purchase price of an electric vehicle is currently higher than an equivalent gasoline-powered vehicle, over time it is expected that fuel savings, reduced maintenance and increased availability of these vehicles will help balance the price difference.
The province plans to support additional installations of EV charging stations for public use at other sites such as Assiniboine Park. The level two chargers provide 240 volts and will give a full charge in approximately half the time of a level one charger, which is like a block heater and provides 120 volts.
Minister Struthers also announced the launch of a new website at: http://dev2.manweb.internal/csm/drive_electric/tools.html, that provides information on available services for electric vehicles. The website was prepared jointly by the province, the Canadian Auto Association (CAA) Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Public Insurance and Red River College.
"The accompanying website will help people understand why this technology is important, provide basic information on the benefits of electric vehicles, and give details on the research and results of testing these vehicles," Minister Struthers said. "This project plays an important role in our provincial clean-energy strategy and electric-vehicle road map that will produce environmental and economic benefits now and in the future."
The charging station and website are part of Manitoba's electric-vehicle roadmap which includes an electric bus developed by the Manitoba government, Red River College, Mitsubishi, New Flyer Industries and Manitoba Hydro.
For more information, visit www.gov.mb.ca/ia/energy/transportation/index.html.
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