May 17, 2017

Plugging in for the good of the planet – and your pocketbook

Electric car charging stations are installed throughout Squamish

— Discover Squamish
An electric car charging in Squamish. — David Buzzard

When Sea to Sky Corridor resident Bob Deeks realized switching to a hybrid electric car could save money while supporting his company’s brand, he decided to give it a try.

“First and foremost, it’s an environmental goal for us,” said Deeks, president of RDC Fine Homes. “Our company is branded around sustainable energy efficiency construction.” 

Indeed, one of the company’s selling points is constructing housing – some of which is in Squamish – that incorporates circuitry that can be used to charge electric vehicles.

In addition to helping his company walk the talk, Deeks also figured buying an electric car was a better deal from an economic perspective, as it would help save on gas – he estimates he’s using less than four litres every 100 kilometres.

It’s just one example of how the electric car is slowly but surely creeping into Squamish, which appears to be embracing a greener way of moving around. 

Deeks’ business is not the only one that’s embracing electric cars. 

Bob Deeks with his Chevy Volt electric-powered car at the Whistler charging station. - David Buzzard

The company behind the Skyridge development in Squamish says customers will have the option to add circuitry to their homes that can accommodate electric car chargers. 

“What we wanted to do was make sure the infrastructure was in place,” said Jason Wood, general manager of Diamond Head Development. 

At the moment, car chargers are changing at such a rapid pace that it wouldn’t be ideal to install them in houses, as they would probably get outdated very quickly, he said. 

So the best option would be to install circuitry that can accommodate chargers so homeowners can make changes as the technology evolves, Wood added. 

He said the decision to install the circuitry was not made in response to customer demand, but rather out of concern for the planet. 

Diamond Head Development general manager Jason Wood in the company’s new energy efficient show home. He is planning to install circuitry that can accommodate chargers. - David Buzzard

“You come to a point in your career…[where] you want to go the extra mile. You want your product to be special and you want to look after the environment,” he said. “It just feels like it’s the right thing to do.”

But it’s not only businesses that are taking steps to welcome a more ecologically-friendly way of transportation. The District of Squamish is also getting on board as well. 

The district is a member of the West Coast Green Highway, an initiative that has the goal of promoting clean fuel use from B.C. all the way to the southernmost tip of California. 

The province has installed a fast-charging station downtown across from municipal hall. The station can get an electric vehicle to 80 per cent of its charge in about half an hour, and is available 24 hours a day. 

There are also public charging stations available at West Coast Railway Heritage Park and Squamish Savings credit union. 

The Executive Suites has a charger available for guests, and there are several private stations in town for members of car charging organizations such as

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