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Osoyoos Indian Band hosting the first public EV charge stations within a B.C. First Nation

Jul 28, 2020

Two newly opened stations provide a vital link for clean travel through B.C.’s interior routes 

OSOYOOS INDIAN BAND LAND, July 27, 2020 ­– The Osoyoos Indian Band and FortisBC have now officially opened the first publicly available DC fast-charging electric vehicle (EV) stations in a First Nation community in B.C., allowing for emission-free travel though B.C.’s southern interior routes.

“Hosting these two stations helps make our region accessible for electric vehicle drivers and reflects our forward thinking approach to economic development,” said Chief Clarence Louie, Osoyoos Indian Band. “Through this positive partnership with FortisBC, we’re supporting clean transportation in our area and sustainable business growth. We’re pleased to contribute to this initiative.”

The two stations, located in Oliver and Osoyoos, are strategically placed to accommodate EV drivers using interior routes to travel between the US and Canada, or southern routes to travel between B.C.’s eastern and western regions. It also allows for clean travel to B.C.’s wine region, which attracts thousands of tourists annually.

The Oliver station is located along Highway 97 in proximity to Senkulmen Enterprise Park, a growing economic hub. The Osoyoos station is located along Highway 3, in proximity to the Spirit Ridge Resort, and other popular destinations for visitors to the region.

The 50-kilowatt stations are designed to provide highway-grade EV charging services for customers who need to charge their vehicles quicker than is possible from a Level-2 charger. The DC fast-charging stations are available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The cost to charge at all of FortisBC’s DC fast-charging stations is 30 cents per minute.

The stations feature unique artwork, created by the Osoyoos Indian Band Youth Council and designed to represent Chief Salmon, one of the four Food Chiefs integral to the traditions of the Syilx/Okanagan Peoples. The artwork represents the connection between water and the creation of electricity in B.C., as well as the importance respecting the natural environment and being mindful of leaving a positive legacy for future generations.

“We’re grateful for the partnership with the Osoyoos Indian Band and honoured to feature artwork created by such a talented local artist from the Youth Council,” said Doug Stout, vice president, market development and external relations. “For us, this unique artwork will serve as a permanent reminder of the value of partnership in driving forward our shared goal of a cleaner, energy future.”

These fast-charging stations were made possible through cooperation between FortisBC, the Osoyoos Indian Band, Ecora Properties, the Province of British Columbia and Natural Resources Canada. Under the terms of the agreement, the Osoyoos Indian Band is providing the locations and FortisBC will own and manage the stations.

These are part of 12 fast-charging stations FortisBC has built over the last year with support from municipalities and all levels of government. All 12 stations were 50 per cent funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), 25 per cent by BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and the remaining 25 per cent by FortisBC. NRCan  provided $600,000 for the twelve fast chargers through its Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative, which aims to establish a coast-to-coast network of fast-chargers along the national highway system, natural gas refueling stations along key freight corridors and hydrogen refueling stations in major metropolitan areas. The Government of British Columbia funding is through its CleanBC Go Electric public charging stations program.

These 12 stations bring the total DC fast-chargers FortisBC owns and operates to 23 stations across 14 communities in the southern interior, and there are 16 more stations under construction. FortisBC continues to look for opportunities to expand this network as part of its 30BY30 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its customers by 30 per cent by 2030. For more information about the FortisBC electric vehicle fast-charging network, visit fortisbc.com/electricvehicle.

QUOTES:

“The opening of these two new electric vehicle charging stations is a significant milestone for Osoyoos Indian Band, First Nation communities and BC’s growing and innovative green infrastructure. With more electric vehicles on our roads we are providing cleaner options for Canadians to drive where they want to go, reducing pollution and creating strong and sustainable communities.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“We’re working to make it more convenient for British Columbian to own an electric vehicle. The opening of the public EV charging stations in Oliver and Osoyoos make it easier for these communities to make the switch to cleaner energy, putting our province on the path to a cleaner and better future.”

The Honourable Bruce Ralston,
B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

 

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(L-R) Michael Leyland, FortisBC, with Osoyoos Indian Band representatives, Sammy Louie and Chief Clarence Louie.

 

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Taylor Baptiste, Osoyoos Indian Band Youth Council, was recognized at the event for her design of the station’s artwork.

 

Media contact

Chris Bower
Business Development Officer
Osoyoos Indian Band
250-689-2495
cbower@oib.ca

Nicole Brown
Corporate Communications Advisor
FortisBC
250-469-6078
nicole.brown@fortisbc.com
24-hour media line: 1-855-322-6397

FORTISBC
FortisBC Inc. is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost. FortisBC Inc. employs more than 500 British Columbians and serves approximately 172,300 direct and indirect customers in B.C.’s South Interior. FortisBC Inc. owns and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, as well as approximately 7,260 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information visit fortisinc.com.