Campbell River city council is being encouraged to change its zoning bylaws to make electric charging stations mandatory for new construction to relect the growing popularity of electric vehicles. Black Press File Photo

City of Campbell River encouraged to make electric vehicle charging stations mandatory

Letter to council from various groups says bylaws should be amended to require charging stations

Campbell River city council has received a letter encouraging them to make the installation of electric vehicle charging stations mandatory when considering new applications for development.

“Higher electric vehicle ownership is now a foregone conclusion as virtually all automobile manufacturers are now committed to producing a wide range of all-electric or plug-in electric vehicles,” says the letter to mayor and council from the Victoria Electric Vehicle Club, the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association and Plug-in Richmond.

“The widespread adoption of electric vehicles provides an opportunity for municipalities to help meet their greenhouse gas emission targets, contribute to improved air quality and public health and reduce noise pollution,” the letter continues, asking for municipalities to amend their zoning bylaws to require electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure be included in new construction.

The letter provides links to a model for implementing EV charging requirements and specific examples of other municipalities who have already made these amendments, such as the City of Richmond.

Council received the letter at its April 9 public meeting, but no direction was given to staff to consider the request.

Meanwhile, BC Hydro has issued a report debunking what they say the public sees as the No. 1 barrier to owning an electric vehicle: cost.

According to the report, a third of British Columbians are interested in switching to an electric vehicle, but most believe it would be too expensive.

The report says that the cost of ownership per year for a new electric vehicle is significantly less than that of their new gas-engine equivalents.

A 2018 Nissan Leaf, for example, costs $2,848 per year to operate while a 2018 Honda Civic will cost its owner $4,313 per year.

The report also states, however, that one of the other barriers to purchase for people was charging station availability, with 90 per cent of respondents saying there was not an electrical charging station available at their home or residential complex, even though a standard 120-volt household outlet can be used for vehicle charging.