Island gets more electric-vehicle charging stations

Three more charging stations for electric vehicles have been set up on Vancouver Island.

The new stations, announced Tuesday, are part of the B.C. government’s move to make it easier to explore the province in eco-friendly electric vehicles.

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They are at the Taylor River rest area on Highway 4, between Port Alberni and Tofino; the Buckley Bay rest area on Highway 19, between Qualicum Beach and Courtenay; and Port Renfrew Community Centre on Highway 14.

They were among 12 new vehicle-charging sites, with more are on the way, the Ministry of Transportation said.

Nine of the 12 sites offer direct-current equipment, capable of completely charging a fully depleted battery in 30 minutes or less. Level-two chargers at the other three stations, which are part of the Accelerate Kootenays electric vehicle charging network, can recharge an empty battery in two to 10 hours, depending on the vehicle.

Other completed sites include one between Merritt and Kelowna, two on Highway 3 near Hope and Osoyoos, three north of Kamloops and three in southeastern B.C.

More charging stations on the Island, and in the Cariboo, Prince George and Hazelton areas, are due for completion this summer, taking the number of stations across B.C. to more than 1,700, the province said.

The government estimates 350,000 electric vehicles are expected on the province’s roads by 2030. Environment Minister George Heyman said that was due to the growing awareness of the effects of climate change.

“We’re committed to a cleaner future here in B.C.,” Heyman said.

“As part of that, we’re making zero-emission vehicles more accessible. The more electric vehicles we have on our roads, the less we pollute, and that benefits people and communities everywhere.”

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