The Comox Valley will be getting new EV charging stations. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Mid-Vancouver Island communities to add 28 more electric vehicle stations

Regional District of Nanaimo spearheading effort that brought $162,222 grant

Electric vehicle (EV) drivers are getting a boost to the number of places they can recharge their vehicles.

The Regional District of Nanaimo is working with 11 other local and regional governments to install 28 new charging stations across Vancouver Island.

The $162,222 grant from the Clean B.C. Communities Fund will pay for new Level 2 charging stations, to be completed by the end of 2022. It will help fill existing gaps in the mid-Island’s area’s charging network and expand zero emission transportation options for the RDN residents, businesses and visitors, according to a press release from the RDN.

“Through our CleanBC economic and climate plan, we are expanding the network of electric vehicle charging stations across Vancouver Island,” MLA for Courtenay-Comox Ronna-Rae Leonard said in an news release. “This investment will encourage more people to pick electric vehicles and contribute to the fight against climate change, while exploring the island and supporting the local tourism economy.”

The funding is part of a larger grant application led by the RDN to support the development of a mid-Island EV charging network that ranges north to Campbell River and west to Tofino and Ucluelet. The RDN led the grant on behalf of 12 mid-Island local governments, who will now also receive funding for installation of public charging stations in their areas.

“This supports the RDN’s strategic plan goal to be leaders in climate change adaptation and mitigation by making it easier to choose zero-emission transportation,” said RDN chairman Ian Thorpe in the release.

All charging stations will be located at accessible public facilities and will prioritize public access. Charging stations will be installed at the following locations, already approved by the RDN board: City of Nanaimo service and resource centre, District of Lantzville municipal hall, Nanoose Place community centre, Descanso Bay Regional Park, Oceanside Place arena, Qualicum Beach museum, Parksville City Hall, French Creek Marina and Lighthouse Community Hall.

Of 10 new Comox Valley Regional District sites, four will be installed in areas outside of municipalities. Of the other six, three will be added to Courtenay, two to Cumberland and one to Comox.

“The installation of these new charging stations in key locations across the Valley will be a great benefit to our community that is looking towards a greener future,” CVRD board chair Jesse Ketler said in a news release. “By expanding electric vehicle charging access across our region, we are making cleaner transportation options viable for more residents and visitors.”

According to the CVRD, it has already considered locations for the new EV stations, as has the Town of Comox, though final decisions will be subject to site feasibility. The City of Courtenay and the Village of Cumberland are expected to decide on sites in their communities sometime this fall.

RELATED STORY: Vandals sever cables at Comox Valley EV charging station

The local governments will be issuing a request for proposals for charging station supply and installation work, with installation likely to follow in 2021.

B.C. government statistics show that in the 10 years since electric vehicles were introduced in the province in November 2009, more than 31,000 EVs have been registered. Last year, EVs made up nine per cent of all light-duty vehicles sold, and the per capita number is the highest in North America, even higher than California at eight per cent.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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