EV users with accessibility needs in Canada are about to have it good. According to a press release, BC Hydro, a provincial Crown corporation, will ensure all its new public charging stations are fully accessible. It will renovate existing stations too over the next three years to make them easily accessible for all users.
The company currently operates 116 public chargers on 78 sites across B.C. It hopes to increase them to 325 chargers and 145 sites by 2025. A study, however, reveals that Canada needs about 200,000 chargers by 2030 for EVs to flourish.
The new charging sites will be barrier-free. They will feature “wider parking stalls, paved access, lowered chargers, wider protective bollards, improved lighting, and better signage.”
BC Hydro calls on its vendors to adjust their hardware, including bringing the screens lower and making the cables easier to handle.
Besides making the stations more accessible, BC Hydro is enabling them to accommodate larger electric trucks and trailers, such as the Tesla Semi. Sites in Powell River, Lillooet, and Fraser Lake can now charge the larger EVs.
“I’m glad to see BC Hydro incorporating accessibility in its design of new charging stations,” says Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility. “We all need to champion accessibility to make B.C. barrier-free.”
Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s President and CEO, said, “These equipment and layout enhancements at each of our sites will make them more accessible and improve the experience for all our customers. As our EV fast-charging network continues to grow and evolve, accessibility and safety are key priorities in the design of each site.”
Other EV charging networks are active in Canada. This includes Electrify Canada, which offered free charging on Canada Day.