Press Release: City, partners launch city-wide electric vehicle charging pilot project

City, partners launch city-wide electric vehicle charging pilot project

February 22, 2012 - The City of Vancouver today launched an $800,000 city-wide pilot project that will bring electric vehicle charging stations to diverse locations around Vancouver, thanks to investments from the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, BC Hydro, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the City itself.

The Charge and Go Vancouver Trial will see the installation of up to 67 Level I (110V) and Level II(240V) electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the city by the end of 2013, helping to accelerate the use of plug-in EVs in Vancouver. These will provide motorists with significantly more charging options than currently exist and will enhance the local EV charging network.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) invested $350,000 in the project through its Green Municipal Fund, endowed by the Government of Canada; the BC Government invested $261,000, BC Hydro contributed $119,000 and the City of Vancouver invested $70,000.

“FCM’s Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments,” said Berry Vrbanovic, president of FCM and councillor for the City of Kitchener, Ontario. “The financing and knowledge provided by the fund supports the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.”

“The Government of Canada is assisting municipalities across the country in achieving their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for Canadians through the Green Municipal Fund,” said Wai Young, Member of Parliament for Vancouver South. “Today’s announcement is another example of how our government — in partnership with FCM — is helping Vancouver build a greener future for our citizens.”

“This is another step forward in British Columbia’s leadership in clean energy infrastructure and innovation,” said B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake. “As a province, we support the City of Vancouver’s role in providing more options for consumers to make greener choices for their transportation needs.”

“As Vancouver strives to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, we need to ensure the city’s infrastructure will support and accelerate the shift towards lower carbon transportation options such as electric vehicles,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This pilot is another significant step forward toward our goal of supporting sustainable transportation options for all Vancouver residents.”

“BC Hydro plays a major role in supporting electric vehicles as the primary fuel supplier. What's more, our commitment to a more modern grid through upgrades like new smart meters enhances our ability to support innovations like electric vehicles. And finally, this field trial will help us even better understand our customers’ evolving electricity needs,” said Lisa Coltart, Executive Director of Power Smart and Customer Care, BC Hydro.

The scope of the pilot is unique in Canada, and seeks to understand the implications of providing charging infrastructure for use at home, work and 'on the go'.

The pilot will assess the opportunities and barriers, processes, costs and ideal locations for the installation of EV charging infrastructure.

The charging stations will be strategically located throughout the city based on site suitability. The price for public charging will vary depending on the location but will be set to encourage the use of EVs while promoting public transit, walking and cycling as the preferred modes of transportation.

The data collected during the pilot project will be used to evaluate how and where stations should be installed, supported and used and how stations can be integrated into the electrical grid. This information will help inform the installation of future EV charging stations around the city, throughout the province and nationally.

The City of Vancouver became an EV charging infrastructure leader in Canada in 2009 when it instituted a policy requiring 20 per cent of parking stalls in new condo buildings to be EV charging-station-ready and all new single family homes to have dedicated EV plug-in outlets.

Click here to learn more about the City’s leading EV initiatives.