City of Kelowna considering EV charging requirements in bylaw update

The City of Kelowna is considering joining other jurisdictions in British Columbia that require new developments to install electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

At a city council meeting on Monday, councilors were voting to approve the development permit application for a new gas station on Rutland Road (DP18-0243). According to a report from Castanet, several councilors were dismayed at the fact the development did not include EV charging stalls.

Coun. Luke Stack was particularly upset with the application, saying developers need to realize the world is transitioning to EVs.

“I think it’s high time these gas stations start looking at other means of supplying energy to our vehicles,’ he said.

City manager Doug Gilchrist said part of the problem is there is no incentive or requirement for developers to do so.

As a result, he said the city is considering bylaw changes to make it a requirement in certain types of developments in certain zoning areas.

Gilchrist says the bylaw changes are a top priority for staff, but it will require some time to fully develop before they can be presented to council for adoption.

“It seems like a fairly obvious one, but until we implement the requirement of EV charging stations, not just in gas stations but in other perhaps multi-family, commercial, industrial development in our bylaws…until then it’s really encouragement and voluntary on behalf of the developer. But, it is on the agenda to be implemented into our bylaw for changes and recommendations to council, probably in multiple zones,” he said.

Other jurisdictions in B.C. have already made the change. Last year Burnaby, Nelson, and Saanich all made it mandatory for developers to install Level 2 charging infrastructure in new developments.

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