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Coquitlam Centre provides electric vehicle charging stations for customers


Coquitlam Centre operations manager Ken Petherick and marketing manager Deborah Stetz unveiled two electric vehicle charging stations — the first in the Tri-Cities.

Charging stations are cropping up in handy locations in parks and shopping centers in the Tri-Cities this month, giving drivers of electric vehicles some peace of mind as they travel throughout the Lower Mainland.

On Friday, Coquitlam Centre demonstrated its two GE WattStations while another four charging stations are expected to be operating in Port Moody and one in Port Coquitlam by the end of the month.

Electric Vehicle Charging station

At Coquitlam Centre, drivers can use their smart phones to pay for the use one of two Level 2 chargers to power up their vehicle while shopping. A four-hour visit to the mall for example, will completely charge the vehicle using the 240 volt charger. Mel Fisher who drives a Chevy Volt that is powered by electricity but has an onboard gas generator said he and his family visit the mall frequently and the extra jolt of electricity will come in handy.

“The rule of thumb for electric vehicle drivers is ABC — Always Be Charged — this gives you peace of mind,” said Fisher, a draft beer equipment installer who drives to Whistler frequently. He said his Volt has saved him $2,500 in fuel costs since he bought it nine months ago.

It will cost $1 an hour to use one of the centre’s new EV charging stations which were installed by Powertech, a subsidiary of BC Hydro, near London Drugs.

Coquitlam Centre operations manager Ken Petherick said installing electric vehicle chargers is part of a larger plan to become more energy efficient and the mall has also upgraded its lighting and is harvesting rainwater for its HVAC system. He doesn’t know how many drivers will use the chargers, “It’s an investment,” he said, “hopefully people will drive here, plug in and go shopping.”
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