A joint study by two electric vehicle (EV) advocacy groups, the Victoria Electric Vehicle Association and Plug-in Richmond, shows that a municipality on Vancouver Island is leading the way in EV infrastructure requirements.
Saanich, the largest municipality on Vancouver Island, last year passed comprehensive zoning by-law requirements that ensure EV charging infrastructure is installed in all new developments, including industrial, commercial, and institutional developments. The new requirements come into effect later this year in June 2020.
The survey, which looked at 45 municipalities across the province, found there are a number of “D-List” communities that have either no, or “exceptionally low” infrastructure requirements for EV charging. Those that made the list include:
- Campbell River
- North Cowichan
- Qualicum Beach
Three municipalities in the lower mainland (Township of Langley, New Westminster, and Vancouver) are close behind Saanich by requiring all residential buildings be 100% EV ready, but have limited requirements for commercial, industrial, or institutional developments.
Requiring EV charging in new construction is important because it is much cheaper to install the necessary cables and wiring during construction, when walls are open and electrical panels can be strategically placed.
Retrofitting at a later date might be impossible for some buildings due to the location of the electrical panel. It is also much more expensive to retrofit, and those costs will only increase over time.
The good news from the survey is that 10 municipalities with a combined population of 2.2 million (nearly half the population of BC), have already taken steps to ensure that EV charging infrastructure is required in new construction.