On Dec. 20, BC Hydro opened an electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station in Kitimat, filling in a gap in northern B.C.’s EV charging infrastructure.
Fast charging stations (Level 3 chargers), typically 50-kiloWatt capacity, are a key part of EV infrastructure, allowing electric vehicle drivers to quickly recharge their range while on extended road trips. BC Hydro’s 50 kW fast charging stations can add 50 km of driving range to an average electric vehicle in about 10 minutes, according to information released by BC Hydro on Thursday.
“As the primary fuel supplier for electric vehicles, we are building out charging infrastructure to ensure we can accommodate the volume and variety of electric vehicles that will be on B.C. roads in the coming years,” BC Hydro president and CEO Chris O’Riley said in a statement released on Thursday. “BC Hydro will add 325 charging units to its network at 145 sites within the next five years.”
BC Hydro, Quebec-based EV charging company FLO and U.S.-based EV charging company ChargePoint operate networks of 50 kW fast-charging stations throughout northern B.C.
For EV drivers, and those considering becoming EV drivers, knowing where those fast-charging stations are – and the distance between them – is key to planning any long-distance road trip in northern B.C.
With legislation proposed that would require 20 per cent of all new passenger cars, trucks and SUVs sold in Canada to be electric by 2026,and 60 per cent by 2030, more and more northerners will need to know where their next fast-charging station is.
Starting in Prince George, here are the locations and approximate distances between fast-charging stations along Highways 16 and 97, based on an online map provided by BC Hydro. Slower, Level 2 charging stations are also shown on the map.
HIGHWAY 16 WEST
Prince George to Fraser Lake (158 km)
Fraser Lake to Burns Lake (70 km)
Burns Lake to Houston (80 km)
Houston to Smithers (64 km)
Smithers to New Hazelton (68 km)
New Hazleton to Terrace (137 km)
Terrace to Kitimat, via Highway 37 (63 km)
Terrace to Prince Rupert (144km)
HIGHWAY 16 EAST
Prince George to McBride (209 km)
McBride to Mt. Terry Fox Rest Area (71 km)
McBride to Valemount, via Highway 5 (84 km)
Mt. Terry Fox Rest Area to Jasper, Alta. (97 km)
Jasper to Edson, Alta. (164 km)
Edson to Edmonton, Alta. (202 km)
HIGHWAY 97 NORTH
Prince George to McLeod Lake (138 km)
McLeod Lake to Fort St. John (300 km)
HIGHWAY 97 SOUTH
Prince George to Hixon (62 km)
Hixon to Quesnel (59 km)
Quesnel to Williams Lake (118 km)
Williams Lake to 70 Mile House (134 km)
70 Mile House to Clinton (33 km)Clinton to Cache Creek (40 km)
Clinton to Lilloot, via Highway 99 (107 km)
Cache Creek to Kamloops, via Highway 1 (83 km)
Cache Creek to Boston Bar, via Highway 1 (128 km)
Boston Bar to Hope, via Highway 1 (65 km)
Fast-charging stations are much more common in southern B.C., making connections to greater Vancouver and the Okanagan easy from Hope and Kamloops.
Less-powerful, Level 2 chargers are available at locations near Prince George including the Slim Creek rest area east of Prince George, Cluculz rest area and Vanderhoof west of Prince George, Australian rest area south of Quesnel and the East Pine rest area northeast of Chetwynd. These chargers are slower than Level 3 chargers, adding about 30 km of range for a typical EV per hour of charging, according to BC Hydro.