VICTORIA — British Columbia is making it easier to explore the province in eco-friendly electric vehicles.
The Ministry of Transportation says 12 vehicle charging sites have been completed and more are on the way.
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.
The ministry says the 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.
Three more sites on Vancouver Island are located between Port Alberni and Tofino and in Port Renfrew.
The province says more charging stations on Vancouver Island and in the Cariboo, Prince George and Hazelton areas are due for completion later this summer, raising the number of stations across B.C. to more than 1,700.
The government estimates 350,000 electric vehicles are expected on the province's roads by 2030 and Environment Minister George Heyman says that's due to the growing awareness of the impacts of climate change.
"We're committed to a cleaner future here in B.C.," Heyman says in a statement.
"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."