The City of Grand Forks in the interior of British Columbia installed two electric vehicle (EV) chargers, one in 2015 and another in 2018, with the hopes of attracting travellers driving through town to stop and spend money in the local economy.
Instead it turns out the chargers are mostly used by local residents, prompting city council to consider implementing a fee structure for EV charging.
According to data from the city, the first charger has used $637.36 in electricity since opening in 2015. The other charger has used $445.60 since opening in 2018, for a total electricity bill of $1,082.96 which the city has had to cover.
Despite that working out to a little more than $1.50 per day, some city councillors want to start charging fees immediately. Councillor Cathy Korolek, during a May 11 meeting, was quoted as saying:
“I don’t think I want to be paying for everybody’s service. Why mess around and say that we’re thinking about [charging for it]. Forget that – let’s just start looking at putting in charges.”
Implementing fees to public chargers is not something new, especially in BC. Powell River recently implemented a fee structure, as well as new fees at the University of British Columbia. Others are also considering making public chargers no longer free, like Richmond, just outside of Vancouver.