THRIVE Amherstburg is calling on the Town to build out its electric vehicle charging infrastructure to ensure tourists with “range anxiety” aren’t discouraged from travelling here to shop and dine and stroll our historic streets.
The recommendation is contained in THRIVE’s second White Paper on Climate Change and echoes a strategy endorsed by the Economic Development Advisory Committee and supported by Council to take advantage of funding available through Essex Power’s Charge Up Windsor-Essex County campaign.
The White Paper by THRIVE, a Town-based lobby group that researches issues, delegates to Council and hosts informational events, highlights the explosive growth in electric vehicle sales and points to a study by the Nuclear Innovation Institute that warned “rural regions in Ontario could be at risk of losing tourist business” unless they install more charging stations.
“Access to localized and visible charging infrastructure is key to alleviating driver concerns about where to charge their vehicle. Furthermore, easy access to quick EV charging stations is a major factor in determining where EV owners choose to spend their travel dollars,” says the White Paper. “Ensuring Amherstburg is ready for heavier EV tourist traffic requires a coordinated approach to adding charging capacity and ensuring the right kinds of stations are installed in the right places.”
THRIVE is calling on the Town to locate between two and four charging locations in the downtown core, with each of those locations outfitted with two to four charging stations.
It recommends the downtown core to encourage tourism and recommends the Town find locations “where the greatest number of tourists park their cars to experience Amherstburg’s sights and amenities."
The paper says the EV chargers should be pay-per-use and suggests four possible locations:
- The public parking lot south of Caffeine & Company
- The public parking lot at the corner of Richmond and Ramsay Streets
- The parking lot at Heritage Square
- Toddy Jones Park
The time to act is now, says THRIVE, because electric vehicle use is growing fast. There were 73,000 EVS registered in Ontario in January of 2022. By 2030, one of every three automobiles sold will be electric. That’s an awful lot of tourists who might avoid driving to Amherstburg if there is no place for them to charge their vehicle while they soak up the sun on a patio or tour an historic site.
The Town, and other entities, can apply under Essex Power’s Charge Up program for funding of up to 50 per cent of the charging station, ranging from a maximum of $5,000 for chargers putting out 3.3kW to 19.2kW to a maximum of $50,000 for chargers putting out 50kW or more. A total of $2 million is being invested in Windsor-Essex “to support the deployment and installation of up to 300 electric vehicle chargers across the region.”
THRIVE has also produced White Papers on Open Streets, Heritage and other topics. Read them here.