Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Downtown?

With more and more hybrid and electric vehicles appearing on the market, including a new Ford 150 pickup, is it time that we invest in some green parking initiatives?

I know that there is a camp that would rather see people do away with cars and trucks altogether and bike/walk everywhere (active transportation) but for the rest of us, prepared to embrace a compromise to help the planet wean off of fossil fuels, the hybrid or electric vehicle is an attractive option. Thanks largely to the pandemic, demand for gasoline has plummeted and we’ve enjoyed deep discounts at the pumps. Many jest that since Covid, they get 2 weeks to the gallon. But I’m not going to argue the merits of going completely green in vehicle choices because I would not be authentic.

When I was commuting to Toronto daily for a year, I traded in my big SUV for a plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and saved big time – not just the planet but in my wallet.

Since I resumed working more locally a couple years ago, I’m back to my V8 sports car and a little 4 cyclinder SUV for the winter months. In short I’m able to see this issue from all sides. While driving my PHEV, I enjoyed access to commuter lanes, premium parking spots while shopping, virtually free driving around town and in the city and got to know all the charging stations where I could stop, shop and charge up.

As Midland puts together the downtown core and turns its attention to our new parking system, would it make sense to install a couple EV charging stations and track their usage? It could be free or operated simply on cost recovery and not only encourage people to drop downtown for some “juice” and a shop but also to show visitors that among naturalizing our parks for pollinators, we offer green initiatives and climate friendly policies. I’d like to see recycling added to our core services as well, but that’s the subject of another discussion.

What are your thoughts? EV stations in a couple lots for a year or two and judge their usage to see if expansion of the initiative is warranted? Or is this just a fad for big cities and we should let this band wagon pass us by?

3 Comments

  1. Check the usage of the one at Timmies. I have yet to see a car charging there. Get some stats then ask the question again/

    • Me neither but I’m talking about locations like downtown or sports centre that sees for more activity for the durations needed to get a charge. Parking there and hoofing it to and from Walmart with stuff is impractical and a quick coffee won’t do anything meaningful to your battery status.

  2. Charging stations are a great idea not only downtown but possibly at the rec centre, little lake and other visited park/lake areas. But they need to be cost effective. Charge maybe 10% over hydro costs to recoup energy cost place the initial cost of the machines.

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