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Squamish electric car co-op eyed

They’re the “train stations of the future,” Jack Gushue says.

Fast-charging plug-in hubs for electric vehicles would be a key element in a car share program, and the director of EasyPark’s information technology department wants Squamish to be a part of making them a reality.

“It’s a shift that is organically existing,” he said.

Created in 1948, the non-profit public authority is looking to branch out to Squamish, EasyPark CEO Nigel Bullers told the District of Squamish’s Transportation Issues Select Committee on Monday (March 3).

In the City of Vancouver, the organization manages 10,836 parking spaces, many of which include electric vehicle charging stations.

Until recently, electric vehicle technology couldn’t meet the kilometre range needed for the commute from Squamish to Vancouver. But that’s all changed, Bullers said.

“You could drive from Vancouver to Seattle in these new vehicles,” he said.

EasyPark proposed Squamish start a pilot project based on an existing car share hub on Cambie Street. Parking at the centre is reserved for car-share and co-op program participants. People line up at the spots and share rides to various places, Bullers noted.

The twist with Squamish’s model is that it would run only electric cars. The vehicles would travel between the fast-charging station in downtown Squamish and an EasyPark facility in Vancouver, Bullers said. The vehicles could be managed by a co-op that members pay into, he noted, adding a preferred framework must be fleshed out with community input.

“I think it is really cutting-edge,” Bullers said. “Nobody else is doing this yet.”
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