At their May 13 meeting, Okotoks town council received some more info on the new electric vehicle (EV) charging ports that are soon to be installed in town.

They approved an amendment to the 2024 Operating Budget to accommodate a $125,000 grant from Aviva Canada and Earth Day Canada's 'Charged for Change' program, which aims to equip Canadian communities with electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Okotoks was one of eight communities to receive funding through the program in 2024, and the only one west of Ontario to do so.

Four new Level 2 EV charging stations with two ports each are being installed in town at the Okotoks Recreation Centre, Operations Centre, Centennial Arena, and the Okotoks Art Gallery.

Being Level 2 chargers, they'll operate on a $2 per hour fee.

During the meeting, Councillor Rachel Swendseid clarified that the aim is to provide more infrastructure for a means of transportation that's becoming increasingly prevalent.

"By supporting this motion, it does not mean that we're going to try to convert everyone to using electric cars, this is merely another option for vehicle users in Okotoks. It's about mobility and it does provide more options for folks that do have electric vehicles."

She also voiced her approval for one of the proposed locations.

'One of the locations is the Okotoks Art Gallery. That is a downtown location, and the data shows that when folks are charging their cars, they usually spend longer in that destination, they go shopping, and they spend money on goods and services, so I'm really happy to see that one of the locations selected was the Okotoks Art Gallery."

The new charging stations are expected to be installed between July and November of 2024.