City of Vancouver to consider several recommendations to increase EV adoption and charging access

The City of Vancouver is taking a serious look to not only increase the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads, but also the number of available EV charging stations.

In a Climate Emergency Action Plan report that will be presented to Vancouver City Council next week, there are several recommendations aimed at both residential and commercial users.

Increase EV Charging on Private Property

The city has already implemented rules that require all new residential parking stalls to be EV-ready. Expanding on the plan, this recommendation also calls for the same rules to apply to non-residential buildings.

Even though there are very few gas stations left within the City of Vancouver, they will also be asking to change the business license fees for gas stations and parking lots to encourage the addition of EV chargers.

“There could be different classifications and rates for zero emissions vs. non-zero emissions business licences for gas stations, with a premium charged for the non-zero emissions classification to encourage them to install a specified level of charging.”

Not to be left out, the city also wants to support rental buildings owners to add EV charging infrastructure for tenants.

Support EV Charging for Passenger Fleets

Due to the high carbon impact of taxis and ride hailing services, staff are looking into how they can support passenger-fleet drivers install EV at-home EV charging. Dedicated charging stalls are also being considered.

Establish Carbon Pollution Surcharge on Parking Permits

To help influence buying decisions and help push consumers towards EVs, the report is recommending a “significant enough” surcharge on the price of parking permits. The surcharge would apply to “new, higher-priced gas and diesel vehicles.”

Expand the Public Charging Network

Living in a dense urban area like Vancouver, not all EV owners have access to at-home charging. To expand the public charging network, city staff are recommending investing in near-home “low-power” charging options where cars can be parked overnight. The reports cites light-pole charging as an example, as well as using empty parking lots like places of worship or schools.

The report calls for 24 new fast-charging stations and at least 35 more Level 2 charging stations added to the public charging network by the year 2025.

There are currently 9 public fast-charging stations and 79 Level 2 charging stations operated by the City. There are also 6 BC Hydro fast-charging stations, as well as the Tesla Superchargers at Pacific Centre.

All of these recommendations are intended to support the province’s goal to have 100% of new car sales be zero emission by 2040, with interim targets along the way.

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