Vancouver city council has approved amendments to a policy aimed at expanding electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure within the city. These changes to the License By-Law aim to incentivize the installation of EV charging stations by offering lower business license fees.
As we reported in May last year, the original bylaw outlined plans to provide discounted business license fees to gas stations and commercial parking lots with a minimum of 60 spaces, starting in January 2025.
Once the policy takes effect, businesses that comply with it will enjoy a substantially reduced annual license fee of just $255. In contrast, non-compliant businesses will face a much higher fee of $10,000.
The revisions to the bylaw that were approved this week introduce more flexibility for businesses to adhere to the program, including the option for gas stations to install chargers at off-site locations.
Matt Horne, the city’s Climate Policy Manager, explained this flexibility to the council, saying, “Say a gas station owner owned four gas stations in the city, they could put four fast chargers at one location and all four of their gas stations would be in compliance.” (via City News)
The motivation behind these changes stems from concerns raised by smaller gas stations in the city, with many expressing worries about not having sufficient space to accommodate EV chargers.
Even though the bylaw isn’t in effect yet, it is already producing results. Vancouver city staff estimates estimate that 21 gas stations will have installed chargers by the time the program becomes active, effectively doubling the number of available charging stations in Vancouver.