Vancouver Island municipality gets $100,000 to install 20 new EV chargers

The District of Saanich was recently awarded a $100,000 grant to install twenty new electric vehicle (EV) chargers across the small municipality on southern Vancouver Island.

The funds were awarded in late June through the Natural Resources Canada (NRC) Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, after submitting the application in September 2019.

That won’t cover the entire cost of the project, so Saanich plans to use an additional $280,000 from its strategic initiative contingency fund.

Two chargers will be installed at the Saanich Municipal Hall, Municipal Hall Annex, Cedar Hill Recreation Centre and the Cedar Hill Golf Course. An additional four will go in at Saanich Commonwealth Place, Rebecca Newlove, Saanich’s manager of sustainability told Saanich News.

The remaining chargers will be installed at local Saanich parks, a first for the region. The parks include Cadboro-Gyro Park, Mount Douglas Park, Hampton Park, and Beckwith Park.

Saanich hopes to have all the new EV chargers installed by the spring of 2020.

There are already 12 EV charging stations in Saanich, all of which are currently free to use. However, district staff have been “exploring the potential for user fees for Saanich-owned public EV charging stations,” said Newlove.

The application to NRC for the funds was made in part to help Saanich realize its climate targets. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy.

Saanich also has one of the most comprehensive EV charging infrastructure plans in place in Canada. As of June 1, 2020, 100% of any new residential construction must have EV charging outlets.

If you live in the Greater Victoria region, the Victoria Electric Vehicle Association is hosting a large rally at the B.C. Legislature on July 6, 2020.

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