BC Hydro altering charging station design to make them more accessible for mobility-impaired users, and to prepare for the Cybertruck

Wheelchair EV charging station

If you’re not a mobility-impaired electric vehicle (EV) driver, you’ve probably never given a second thought to how accessible, or as is the case most of the time, how inaccessible EV charging stations are for those with mobility issues.

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That issue was raised during a BC Hydro presentation to the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association (VEVA) regarding charging stations. Jacques Courteau, a Tesla owner who drives a Model 3 which has been retrofitted for hand controls, asked if the utility company was aware he was unable to charge his Tesla at most of their locations.

After the meeting, a team from BC Hydro travelled with Courteau to several charging stations around Vancouver to get a first-hand look at the difficulties faced by mobility-impaired drivers.

Based on those findings, BC Hydro is now altering the designs for their charging stations to make them more accessible for all, based on a report from Electric Autonomy. This includes making sure the ground is level and paved, that there is enough space between charging spots to allow for the car door to be opened fully, altering the location of bollards used to protect the equipment, and thinking to future about how to reduce the weight of charging cables.

In addition to changing their design principles for mobility-impaired drivers, BC Hydro is also thinking of a future when there are electric pick-up trucks like Tesla’s Cybertruck, and EV that can tow large trailers and boats.

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BC Hydro will be focussing pull-through EV charging stations in the southern and northern parts of BC, with the first pull-through stations coming online in the next few months. Since there is no standard for charge port placement on EVs, the pull-through stations also help regular EV drivers manoeuvre their vehicles to be able to charge.

Featured image via YouTube

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