Winnipeg councillor proposes free parking for electric vehicles

A Winnipeg city councillor is proposing two new measures that he hopes will increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the city and province.

Coun. Kevin Klein is the man behind the initiative. He will propose to city council this Friday that EV owners should get up to five free hours of parking at any city-owned parking lot or metered street stall.

“I want to make sure that we’re doing our part to entice more people to buy electric cars… and I think we can do that by offering something as small as free parking,” he told the Winnipeg Free Press.

To get the free parking, Klein’s proposal would see the city implement a permit process for personal EVs. The process would specifically exclude hybrids and heavy-duty EVs.

While it might seem like a small gesture, president of the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association (MEVA) Robert Elms says it’s a low cost way for the government to show its support of EVs.

Further to that, Elms says the city should also begin switching their own fleet to electric.

“The most important thing… is leading by example. There is no question about that. That is a huge, huge statement to the public when cities do that,” said Elms.

Along with the free parking, Klein is also asking the city to install more EV charging stations.

According to data from MEVA, there are currently more than 700 EVs in the province, a stark contrast to British Columbia which sold more than 54,000 in 2020 alone.

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