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City of Victoria installs first of 30 neighbourhood EV fast chargers

The new station, located in the Bay Street parking lot at Vic West Park, has two 50-kilowatt direct-current fast chargers.
Acting Victoria mayor Marianne Alto, left, and David Grove, president of the Victoria EV association, at Victoria West Park with the first of what eventually will be 30 neighbourhood EV fast chargers in Victoria. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

The City of Victoria recently unveiled the first of 30 planned neighbourhood electric vehicle fast-charging stations.

The station, which has two 50-kilowatt direct-current fast chargers, is in the Bay Street parking lot at Vic West Park, and users will pay $12 per hour of charging.

Fast chargers are expected to be installed in neighbourhoods throughout the city — typically near multi-family housing such as apartments — over the next five years, with about six being installed every year. The city says it hasn’t yet been determined where the next ones will go.

It says the current plan is to locate the majority of stations on public land, although it’s open to partnering with private landowners.

“The city has set aggressive targets for electric vehicles, but not everyone has access to at-home charging,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement. “By installing EV charging in neighbourhood centres close to where people live and spend time, we’re giving people confidence that they can make the switch to an EV knowing there will be convenient places to charge close to home.”

British Columbia leads the country in EV adoption, with 17 per cent of new car sales being electric. The Canadian average is 8.5 per cent.

Drivers can charge their vehicles at home using a supplied alternating current Level 1 charger, or install an optional Level 2 charger for faster charging. A direct current fast charger is significantly faster — it can provide up to an 80 per cent charge in about an hour, depending on the make, model and battery of the vehicle.

The $1.5-million cost of the 30 fast-charging-stations will be shared by the city and provincial and federal governments.

The city has set a target of 30 per cent of passenger vehicles in Victoria to be powered by renewable energy by the end of this decade, reaching 100 per cent by 2050.

Since October 2020, all new residential construction in the city is required to be EV-charging ready. All new commercial developments must have at least five per cent of parking stalls ready for EV chargers.

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