The city’s first publicly accessible electric-vehicle charging station was unveiled this morning at The Forks.
The provincial government footed the $5,000 installation cost, while The Forks will cover the cost of electricity.
The charging station is located in a dedicated electric vehicle-only parking space near the Forks Market’s main entrance.
Stan Struthers, minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, said public infrastructure for electric vehicles is needed for them to become more popular.
Two more government-sponsored stations will be located soon at Assiniboine Park.
"As a prime tourist attraction in Winnipeg, The Forks attracts millions of people arriving in thousands of vehicles each year," Struthers told a news conference. "So it was logical to install the first charging station right here. It is a handy central location where owners of electric cars can recharge their batteries."
The EV charging station installed at The Forks takes four hours to recharge an electric-vehicle battery.
Struthers said the new public charging outlet is part of the government’s strategy to promote the use of clean, electric-powered transportation. He said while the purchase price of an electric vehicle is currently higher than an equivalent gas-powered model, over time it is expected that fuel savings, reduced maintenance costs and increased availability of EVs will see the cost difference narrow.
There are an estimated 75 to 100 electric vehicles in the province right now.
Struthers also announced the launch of a new website that provides information on available services for electric vehicles. The website was prepared jointly by the province, the Canadian Auto Association (CAA) Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Public Insurance and Red River College.