The 2020 Tim Hortons Brier, Canada’s national men’s curling championship, is being held from February 29 to March 8 at the Leon’s Centre in Kingston, Ontario. Along with bringing a boost to the local economy, the tournament is also causing the closure of the city’s only two DC Fast Charging stations.
With the tournament start date over 2 weeks away, the chargers in the Frontenac municipal parking lot were closed off to public access on February 3rd. According to city officials, the EV charging stations will remain closed until March 31, 3 weeks after the tournament ends.
In a statement this week, the city said they will be working with Curling Canada to reopen them as soon as it is safe to do so.
Despite the obvious inconvenience of shutting down the only DC Fast Chargers in town, there is also the issue of the funds that helped make the charging station possible. They were partly funded by a $100,000 grant from Natural Resources Canada, which stipulated that the chargers be “open to the public at all times.”
In attempting to explain how the city could close the chargers in contradiction of the requirements of the funding program, officials said the agreement doesn’t cover situations when access is temporarily interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances.
“Under the city’s agreement with Natural Resources Canada, the Level 3 chargers were to be located in a downtown location where public access can normally be expected. The agreement does not speak specifically to situations where public access is temporarily interrupted due to maintenance, loss of network connectivity, extreme weather or temporary closures to accommodate events or lot upgrades or other unforeseen situations.”
Since the chargers came online in August 2019, they have been used a total of 315 times, equating to about 2 charges per day. That number seems awfully low for a DC Fast Charger, which can typically charge most EV’s in about 30 minutes.
Featured image via PlugShare
h/t [Kingston Whig-Standard]