Black Hills Estate Winery can now offer visitors a bite and boost.
The local business announced the installation of an electric car charging station, during a launch party held at its Black Sage Road location on June 22.
Introduced at a cost of $2,000 to install, the charger will be a complimentary service for those who visit the winery.
Glen Fawcett, president of Black Hills, said his is the first winery to install a high-powered charging station and hopes that will bring the Okanagan Valley one step closer to helping local industries and visitors minimize their carbon footprints.
“We felt that it furthered our commitment to have a “green winery,” said Fawcett. “We just wanted to do our part.”
Fawcet said more chargers may be added later on, but they will have to “see what the demand is, and determine if it is enough to go further.”
He credited Black Hills board member Randy Taylor as one of the key players involved in bringing a charger to the winery.
Taylor, a longtime electric car owner, said that although electric vehicles are still a rarity on South Okanagan roads, he predicts the demand for the chargers will increase as public confidence in the new technology grows.
Taylor noted that electric cars initially tend to cost more than their gasoline-powered counterparts, in the long term it can save you a considerable amount.
“It costs about three dollars to charge my car,” he said.“I will never go back to fuel.
According to Green Car Reports, in 2012 electric cars accounted for 0.1 per cent of all new car sales in Canada, or approximately 1,800 electric cars sold across the country. Sun Country Highways is one of the leading distributors of green vehicles.
Taylor partnered with Sun Country to bring the charging station to Black Hills. He said the Saskatchewan-based company and its president/founder, Kent Rathwell, is leading the charge to have a network of electric vehicle stations installed across Canada.
Sun Country’s most notable project, known as “The World’s Longest Greenest Highway”, saw Rathwell and Sun Country’s vice president Christopher Misch, drive across Canada in an all electric Tesla Roadster, similar to the model Taylor drives.
Rob MacIntosh, regional director of Sun Country, said the goal of both the Longest Greenest Highway project and the Black Hills partnership, is not only to increase green infrastructure, but to promote local economies and the businesses that Sun Country partners with to provide the charging stations.
In regard to a possibility of electric car chargers in Oliver, Municipal Manager Tom Szalay said council has yet to receive any requests to install a charger for public use.