New charging stations in Parksville will electrify logging, transport trucks

New charging stations in Parksville will electrify logging, transport trucks
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WatchNew charging stations in Parksville will electrify logging & transport trucks. Kendall Hanson has more.

Tesla semi trucks may soon be rolling on Vancouver Island.

EcoWest Driven is announcing it’s building charging stations for commercial trucks in Parksville.

Island-based companies, Mosaic Forest Management and Quality Foods have already signed up to give electric trucks a try and are awaiting Tesla semi-trucks trucks for an upcoming pilot project.

If successful, Mosaic plans to electrify its fleet of 300 logging trucks as part of its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2035.

“To our knowledge, there’s no one in the world hauling logs with fully electric trucks in the mountainous terrain that we have here so this would be a global first for fully electrified full log haul trucks,” said Domenico Ianndinardo, Mosaic’s vice-president and chief forester.

Electrifying its fleet is a big part of its plan and the company is awaiting awaiting three vehicles from Telsa for the pilot project.

Ianndinardo said electrifying its fleet is a big part of its plan and the company is awaiting awaiting three vehicles from Telsa for the pilot project. He also said electric logging trucks may be a natural fit here on Vancouver Island with much of the timber they’re logging at higher elevations

“As they come down the hill loaded they’re able to regenerate energy and put that back into their batteries so in this cycle going up the hill empty and coming down the hill loaded they can generate their own battery supply on a daily basis,” said Ianndinardo.

The first Tesla chargers on central Vancouver Island were built in 2017 and EcoWest Driven will be helping Mosaic and other Island businesses electrify their fleets.

“We’re pretty excited to be the leaders of this technology coming into the industry,” said Jarvis Shaver, an EcoWest Driven co-founder and director.

They’re building 45 commercial charging stations plus a service garage, with six more chargers, at their Angel Road property in Parksville.

“When we heard the electric truck was coming we thought it was a lot of smoke and mirrors but we’ve done a lot of research and found out that it’s not and it’s going to change this industry,” said Timber Johnson, another Director.

The first customer to sign up with EcoWest Driven was Quality Foods.

“We’re definitely the first on Vancouver Island to be doing this and we may be the first in Canada,” said Justin Schley, vice-president at Quality Foods.

They say with the advertised 1000 kilometre range they’ll be able to do round trips to all their stores without charging.

“We drive over a million miles a year with our fleet and to save that amount of emissions and to reduce that off our roads, especially on Vancouver Island, is ever so important,” said Schley.

EcoWest Driven hopes to start construction this fall with the first charging station operating within a year.

Mosaic and Quality Foods hope their first Tesla’s will be on the road in 2022.

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