PRINCE GEORGE – Northern Development Initiative Trust announced its commitment of $192,000 towards the creation of an electric vehicle (EV) charging station network across central and northern BC.

Branded “Charge North”, this partnership involves 23 regional districts, municipalities and First Nations and demonstrates collaboration on addressing the issue of clean energy, while supporting economic development and enhancing tourism.

“This isn’t a ‘one and done’ project. As the number of EVs increase, so does the need for charging stations and I look forward to committing more grant dollars in the future. Thank you to our partners and everyone who made this a realty – the north isn’t going to wait to go green,” said Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust.

From left: Derek Baker, Director of Economic Development at Northern Development; Art Kaehn, chair of the RDFFG; Lara Becket, vice-chair of the RDFFG; Joel McKay, CEO of Northern Development; Janice Keyes, Senior Manager, community energy engagement at the Community Energy Association.

Once fully developed, this network will further open up central and northern BC to EV drivers and improve accessibility for existing drivers, bringing more people to communities throughout the region and increasing the profile of local attractions.

The Strategic Initiatives Fund (SIF) grant from Northern Development will assist with the purchase of 47 Level 2 stations to be located in 26 local government and First Nation communities.

The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George (RDFFG) submitted the application and are working with other local governments and First Nations. The Community Energy Association – an independent organization that supports local governments in developing and implementing community energy and emissions plans – is managing the overall project.

Once purchased, Charge North will work towards the installation of all 47 stations.

SIF is a proposal-based program that provides grant funding for strategic projects that are large in scale, regional in impact, enhance a community or multiple communities’ ability to overcome economic challenges and will result in incremental capacity or strategic economic infrastructure within a local government or First Nation. The goal of the program is to support community-based projects that focus on long-term economic transformation and sustainability.