CALGARY — The Stoney Nakoda First Nation is now home to the latest electric vehicle charging station to open along the Trans-Canada Highway.

On Monday, two new charging stations were unveiled at the Bearspaw First Nation's new Travel Centre — a direct current fast charger and a Level 2 unit. It marks the first EV fast charger installed in partnership with an Alberta First Nation.

The chargers are owned and operated by ATCO and will be powered with the equivalent of renewable energy.

The Bearspaw station is the latest in a growing network that are part of the Peak to Prairies Project, a two-year, $2.2 million collaborative initiative developed and funded by the Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance, SouthGrow Regional Initiative, City of Calgary, City of Lethbridge, City of Medicine Hat and Medicine Hat College.

The purpose is to establish an EV charging network across southern Alberta, connecting communities from Crowsnest Pass to Medicine Hat, Pincher Creek to Calgary, and west to Canmore.

The goal is to see 21 fast-charging and Level 2 stations installed by the end of 2019, connecting more than 1,100 kilometres of highway.

Fast-charging stations will charge an electric vehicle from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, while Level 2 charging stations take four to six hours for an 80 per cent charge.