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Town wants to be part of charging stations initiative

A car uses the charging station located at The Claymore Inn and Suites on Church Street.
A car uses the charging station located at The Claymore Inn and Suites on Church Street. - Richard MacKenzie
ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

Antigonish Town Council is taking a proactive approach when it comes to electric cars by starting down a path to add 20 public electric car charging stations, within limits served by its electric utility.

Town director of corporate services Meaghan Barkhouse gave a presentation during council’s Sept. 16 regular monthly public meeting about a request for proposal for the charging stations. After a brief discussion about some of the sites proposed for the stations, council unanimously voted in favour of applying to be part of the program.

“[The vote] approved to go through with an application to the province, actually to the Pan Maritime Province Municipal Electric Vehicle Charging Station Initiative,” Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher told reporters after the meeting.

“We all know this is something that is coming sooner than later and we’re excited about it; we want to be a place where people can charge their cars. It will be another reason to come off the highway and into Antigonish, do some shopping while your car charges.

“And not only will we have one or two, we’ll have 20. There are already three in town [two at St. F.X., one at the Claymore Inn and Suites] and we’ll add 20 more. I’m very proud of our council to see the potential in something like this.”

Being accepted means receiving 50 cents on the dollar cost-sharing through the initiative. A charging station costs, roughly, $9,000 each.

If accepted, the cost would be included in the town’s 2020-21 budget.

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“The application will go in and we’re really hoping we’ll be chosen to part of this initiative,” Boucher said.

“If we are, it’s a matter of securing the spots. That might be talking to some of the store owners, some of the places where they want them to go; some will be municipally owned anyway. Making sure that is the 20 spots we want and go from there.”

Barkhouse talked about the goals of the program and how the province would like to see more and more electric cars on the road in the future. Boucher said, as the price of the cars go down, that certainly seems likely.

“The cost of electric cars is starting to go down; just like we see solar panels have gone down in price – they’re more affordable; electric cars will hopefully be on a similar time-line.

“This is a great way to decrease our carbon footprint in the town. You’re at the Antigonish Arena, why not charge your car.”

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