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Okotoks chosen to receive new EV charging stations

A 2024 EV6 electric vehicle charges while on display in the Kia exhibit at the Denver Auto Show Thursday, April 4, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) A 2024 EV6 electric vehicle charges while on display in the Kia exhibit at the Denver Auto Show Thursday, April 4, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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A community just south of Calgary is among eight Canadian municipalities that will have new charging stations installed as part of an Earth Day Canada campaign.

Insurance provider Aviva Canada is behind the initiative, called Charged for Change, which aims to bring electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to Canadians coast to coast.

Okotoks, Alta., 45 kilometres south of Calgary, is one of the recipients in the second year of the program.

"Aviva Canada is taking action on climate change and helping to build stronger, more resilient communities by investing in public charging stations," the company said in a statement, adding that access to such stations can often be a barrier for residents considering buying an EV.

"That’s why we worked with Earth Day Canada to create Charged for Change, a program that will fund public electric vehicle (EV) charging installations in communities across Canada with limited or no access to EV infrastructure," Aviva said.

The funding will help build Level 2 EV charging stations, the most common type of charger in public spaces.

In 2023, the inaugural year for the three-year program, the company said 37 charging heads were installed.

Earth Day Canada, an organization that promotes conservation and helps individuals, municipalities and organizations reduce their impact on the environment, says it's grateful for the commitment made by Aviva.

"The collective transition to electromobility is a key part of the global climate change solution," said executive dicector Valerie Mallamo in a statement.

She said the installation of EV chargers in rural municipalities increase opportunities and cut down on some of the misgivings that residents have about the technology.

The Town of Okotoks says the grant announcement is "a wonderful move" for the community.

There is no written contract for the installation, officials said but its hoped that construction could begin by at least the summer.

A spokesperson said the town has two EV chargers at the public library and one at Okotoks town hall, so the addition of more, including those that are partially paid for, will make it so much better for the community.

Interested municipalities can apply for year three funding in the fall.

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