By Krizelle Solidum
To help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Skagway and accommodate electric vehicles coming off the ferry and from Whitehorse, five new electric car charging stations have been installed behind the Public Works office on 1st Ave and State Street.
“While charging their vehicle, people can catch a meal and do some shopping because they are located downtown,” said Assemblymember Orion Hanson.
According to Borough Clerk Emily Deach, the municipality is exploring other possible locations in town.
The municipality paid for the charging stations, at approximately $2,000 each. Auke Bay Electric installed the units. The municipality budgeted $80,000 for the entire project.
The charging stations are free for Skagwegians and visitors, including drivers from Whitehorse when the border reopens.
Last fall, the Yukon Territory released a comprehensive plan to reduce emissions, proposing 6,000 electric vehicles by 2030, about one of every six passenger cars in the territory.
The Skagway chargers provide what is called a Level Two service, meaning a vehicle is charged in about two hours. This was the most cost-effective unit that best fit the needs of the community, with minimal maintenance required, according to Hanson.
Depending on the vehicle, a single charge could last up to 100 miles, Hanson said. Newer vehicles being planned by manufacturers could go as far as 300 miles on a charge.
“They not only reduce our environmental impacts but when travel opens again, we hope they will encourage electric car enthusiasts to visit Skagway,” said Borough Manager Brad Ryan.
More electric vehicles in the city would promote less fossil fuel emissions on the consumer level and head toward greener technology in Skagway, “in Alaska and then the world,” said Hanson.