February 16, 2016 - 7:00 PM
KELOWNA - Kelowna is pushing for more people to buy electric vehicles by installing two new charging stations and ending parking incentives for all vehicles that use fossil fuels.
Beginning March 1, subcompacts like the Smart car and Chevrolet Spark will no longer be eligible for the city-issued Eco-Pass which allowed the vehicles to be parked on-street for free, subject to time limitations.
Instead, the Eco-Pass will only be issued to owners of battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles registered within the Central Okanagan Regional District boundaries.
The new pass allows only two hours of free parking per day, will only be issued for one year and cannot be renewed.
Eco-Pass begain in 2005 as an incentive for the owners of hybrid electric and fuel efficient cars, according to a report from parking services manager Dave Duncan.
He says the original seven models of cars eligible for the program has grown to 35 with some 1,000 active Eco-Passes in circulation.
As part of the package to encourage low-emissions electric vehicle use, the city will enter into a partnership with Fortis B.C. to install two electric vehicle charging stations in the Kelowna Museum parking lot.
This will add to the nine existing stations within Kelowna ranging in location from UBC Okanagan to Kelowna General Hospital.
The level two stations have a charge time of two to four hours and will cost Fortis approximately $35,000.
The city will be responsible for maintenance and electrical costs on what Duncan describes as a pilot project designed to gauge demand and actual costs plus regulation and enforcement issues arising from designating stalls for use only be electric vehicles.
Duncan says both the Memorial Parkade under construction next to the museum and the expansion to the Library Parkade just down the street, will each have the capacity to install two more charging stations each in the future.
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