DIDSBURY - The Didsbury Economic Development Advisory Committee has presented a report to town council outlining potential costs of bringing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to the municipality.
The report was presented and discussed during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and on Zoom.
In November, council instructed administration to examine EV station options, infrastructure, cost and revenue as well as partnership models, possible grants and what bringing a station or stations to town would mean from an economic development perspective.
Committee members had conversations with several companies, with information gathering incurring potential and future trends, as well as the potential infrastructure required, including cost implications.
“Grants were explored and we discovered a provincial grant program towards funding EV charging stations for municipalities,” the advisory committee's Mike Crampton said in the report. “We were informed that the grant would open up in January and would combine federal and provincial grant funds to cover the full cost of EV charging station hardware and installation.”
In the report, the committee outlined possible economic benefits of bringing EV stations town, including the following (quoted from report):
• Having EV stations in general will position the Town of Didsbury as forward thinking and could be used as a marketing vehicle to attract more residents as well as visitors into Didsbury. Having signage on Highway 2 - Didsbury turnoffs to promote the EV stations.
• Having EV stations in downtown will cater to business retention as people that are charging their vehicle may visit storefronts, shop, go for a coffee or a bite to eat and explore Didsbury and all it has to offer further. This may also cater to a business and residents attraction strategy.
• EV sales are expected to be 10 per cent of vehicles by 2025, 40 per cent by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2040. We would do well to get ahead of this trend, especially while there is grant money available. Towns without EV charging infrastructure will increasingly be looked at as lacking.
Mayor Rhonda Hunter thanked committee members for their work.
Council passed a motion directing administration to explore the opportunity further and to source quotes and prepared an application for the provincial grant, to be brought back to council for future consideration before submission