Which came (or should come) first: the chicken or the egg? Electric vehicles and charging stations present much the same conundrum. As the various municipalities throughout Nova Scotia scramble to electrify their fleets, they’ve been confronted with the Achilles heel of all EV ownership — how and where to recharge them.

The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is tackling this problem head-on, designing three new fleet depots to simultaneously house and charge their dozens (to be in the hundreds by 2030) of EVs. These designs are awaiting approval from Nova Scotia Power, at which point — probably this summer — their construction will go out to tender.

The Municipality of Colchester is focusing on publicly accessible chargers for now, installed in places such as the Fundy Discovery Site, Five Islands Lighthouse Park, Upper Stewiacke Co-op and Tatamagouche Public Library; while the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg is upgrading the fleet parking lot at its municipal services building with three new chargers (in addition to the two already there) and laying cable for an additional nine to be installed, as needed. Chargers are also coming to their wastewater treatment facility in Cookville and to their Municipal Activity & Recreation Complex in Dayspring.

The County of Kings is installing a robust network of charging stations at key municipal buildings throughout their jurisdiction, focusing on several far-flung sewage treatment plants — allowing staff to use EVs without range anxiety. Kings hopes to eventually go even further, equipping some chargers with solar panels and battery storage, so the EVs can be charged directly from the sun, side-stepping what carbon-intensive electricity remains on the grid.

“As much as we’re supporting a greener fleet,” says Zobia Jawed, director of environmental services and climate resilience with Kings County, “I also want to make sure we’re supporting Nova Scotia’s transition to net zero.”

The Climate Story Network is an initiative of Climate Focus, a non-profit organization dedicated to covering stories about community-driven climate solutions.

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