EV Infrastructure Charges Ahead In Vancouver

Electric vehicle owners in Vancouver, British Columbia, will soon have more options when it comes to charging their cars, thanks to a new citywide pilot project. Various agencies at the federal and provincial level joined the city of Vancouver in committing around $800,000 toward a project that aims to install as many as 67 charging stations around town by the end of 2013.

The locations of the charging stations—an unspecified combination of Level 1 and Level 2 stations—will be determined based on site suitability, the city said. Prices for public charging will vary depending on the location, but the stated goal of the program is to encourage the use of EVs while promoting public transit, walking and cycling as preferred modes of transportation.

Vancouver electric vehicle charging

image via Shutterstock

In addition to simply giving EV drivers more options for charging their vehicles, the city said the pilot will be used to assess the opportunities and barriers, processes, costs and ideal locations for the installation of EV charging infrastructure. Data collected during the project will be used to see where future charging stations should be installed and how they can be used within the electrical grid. The project’s backers said it’s unique for Canada in that it is looking to gain information about the charging infrastructure for use at home, work and for commuting.

“As Vancouver strives to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, we need to ensure the city’s infrastructure will support and accelerate the shift towards lower carbon transportation options such as electric vehicles,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement. “This pilot is another significant step forward toward our goal of supporting sustainable transportation options for all Vancouver residents.”

Vancouver cast the program as falling in line with a history of EV-friendly policies. The city says it took the lead in the EV charging infrastructure in Canada in 2009 when it instituted a policy requiring 20 percent of parking stalls in new condo buildings to be EV charging-station-ready and all new single family homes to have dedicated EV plug-in outlets.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.