With the official opening of an electric vehicle fast-charging station at the Surrey Museum today, B.C. is well on its way to becoming the first province in Canada to provide electric vehicle drivers with a network of 13 direct current (DC) fast-charging stations.
In addition to the Surrey station, fast-charging stations in Kamloops, Nanaimo, Duncan, Squamish and Merritt are now operational. The seven remaining stations are scheduled to be online by March 31, 2014.
"It's encouraging to see such widespread interest among communities across the province in hosting and operating these electric vehicle fast chargers," said Environment Minister Mary Polak. "Providing a strategically located network of fast chargers on major routes, including the Highway 1 and Highway 99 corridors, will allow more travel options for many current electric vehicle owners and will help make these vehicles an even more attractive choice for those people who haven't considered them before."
DC fast chargers require only 20 to 30 minutes for an 80 per cent charge and are necessary to give electric vehicle owners the confidence to travel between communities. On the other hand, Level 2 charging stations (240-volt) require four to eight hours to reach full charge, which is usually adequate for commuters, but can hamper electric vehicle mobility between communities, especially for pure battery electric vehicle owners.
The $1.3-million fast-charging stations program is being managed by BC Hydro with funding coming from the Province's previously announced $14.3-million Clean Energy Vehicle Program. BC Hydro will continue to own the 13 DC fast chargers, while the participating communities will provide access to municipal land to host and operate the stations.
The Clean Energy Vehicle Program includes the Community Charging Infrastructure Fund, the CEVforBC(tm) point-of-sale incentive program, upgrades to hydrogen fuelling infrastructure and LiveSmart BC rebate programs for residential charging infrastructure.
The installation of these stations also marks another significant milestone for the Clean Energy Vehicle Program - completing the B.C. portion of the West Coast Green Highway, a commitment made by Premier Christy Clark under the Pacific Coast Collaborative (Washington State, Oregon, California and B.C.) to ensure electric vehicle fast charging is deployed along the Highway 99/I-5 corridor. Eventually, electric vehicle owners will be able to drive from San Diego to Whistler, knowing they can charge their vehicles along the way.
Clean Energy Vehicle Program: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cas/mitigation/cev.html
Pacific Coast Collaborative: www.pacificcoastcollaborative.org
A backgrounder and a factsheet follow.
Ministry of Environment
Electric vehicle fast chargers open for business
The following 13 communities have agreed to host fast-charging stations, and are actively working with BC Hydro:
- Whistler - Conference Centre (4010 Whistler Way)
- Squamish - Stan Clarke Park (2nd Ave., across from Municipal Hall)
- Surrey Museum (17710 - 56A Ave.)
- Township of Langley - Langley Events Centre (7888 - 200th St.)
- Saanich - Uptown Shopping Centre
- Merritt - Merritt Tourism/Visitor Info Booth (2202 Voght St.)
- Hope - exact location to be determined
- Cowichan Valley Regional District (Duncan) - Island Savings Centre (2687 James St.)
- Nanaimo - Vancouver Island Conference Centre (101 Gordon St.)
- City of North Vancouver - Lower Lonsdale
- City of Vancouver - Telus World of Science (1455 Quebec St.)
- Kamloops - Tournament Capital Centre (910 McGill Rd.)
- District of North Vancouver - exact location to be determined
Ministry of Environment