News

New electric-vehicle chargers for Thamesford, Tillsonburg in Oxford County

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

A new study recommends adding 229 chargers to encourage local residents to buy electric vehicles, and the county is seeking input on where they should be located.

A new study recommends adding 229 chargers to encourage local residents to buy electric vehicles, and the county is seeking input on where they should be located.

Oxford County is getting two new level-two electric charging stations on Broadway and Bridge streets in downtown Tillsonburg and the Thamesford branch of the Oxford County Library.

 

Oxford County is currently home to 48 public and private electric-vehicle charging stations in 22 locations, but the county is hoping to install many more in an effort to encourage ownership of more of the environmentally friendly vehicles.

The cost of installing the two chargers will be funded by the $53,500 remaining from Oxford’s 2016 Electric Vehicle Charge Ontario program grant.

The stations are expected to be in service by March 31 of this year.

“These two stations are a bit of bonus,” said Jay Heaman, manager of strategic initiatives for Oxford County. “We came in under budget at the cost of the other two locations. The cost for the two locations was under $300,000. We were able to use residual funding.”

According to the Ministry of Transportation, the number of electric vehicles in Oxford County in 2017 numbered 163, a number that could grow to more than 5,000 based on estimates of between a one- to 25-per-cent growth.

With the previous 2016 EVCO funding of $353,000, the county had installed one level-three charging station and two level-two charging stations at the Quality Hotel in in Woodstock and the Town of Ingersoll municipal parking lot on King Street.

Meanwhile, Oxford County is asking residents to give their feedback on an expert report outlining where to locate electric-vehicle charging stations across the county.

The feasibility report, submitted by Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), is the starting point for phase two of the county’s plan to become a fully accessible electric vehicle community.

The Oxford County Feasibility Study: EVSE Data Mapping and Analysis in Support of Oxford County’s Electric Vehicle Accessibility Plan recommends an additional 229 charging stations in Oxford County in high-traffic locations, like workplace parking lots and shopping centres.

Of these charging stations 163 would be level-one chargers, which use a standard household electricity outlet to provide about eight kilometres for every hour of charging.

Fifty-four would be level-two chargers, which use a higher voltage and offer about 30 kilometres for every hour of charging.

Twelve of the chargers would be level three, which use ultra-high-power 480-volt circuits to charge an empty EV battery to 80 per cent in about half an hour.

Those chargers are ideal for highway travel.

The feasibility report sets out several priorities for locating new charging stations, including workplace clusters of several employers.

Level-two and level-three chargers will be located along highways to serve through traffic and commuters, particularly in Drumbo off Highway 401.

That area currently has low electric vehicle chargeability.

The report also recommends upgrades to existing chargers at the Ingersoll Travel Plaza ONRoute, Ingersoll Comfort Inn, the Oxford County Administration Building, and either George’s Auto Repair or the nearby municipal lots in Tillsonburg.

It also offers an assessment of the environmental and economic benefits of converting two routes within Woodstock’s public transit system to electric transit.

Oxford County is asking residents to share their thoughts and opinions about building electric vehicle infrastructure in the county as it works to implement its own Electric Vehicle Accessibility Plan.

To read the full feasibility report or to share your input visit at www.oxfordcounty.ca/speakup.

HRivers@postmedia.ca