On Thursday, September 6, the VEVC hosted a meeting with representatives of BC Hydro attended by approximately 40 local EV owners.
The meeting was part of an outreach program by BC Hydro to ascertain the utility’s direction in providing the best possible EV infrastructure for both Vancouver Island and the rest of the province.
Representatives, Monica Curran and Mike Wenzlaff, stated that Hydro is in the process of adding an additional 26 Level 3 chargers to its current network of 56 fast charging installations, with more in the planning stage for both urban and linear highway corridors. All locations will charge at a standard price of 35 cents per KwH.
The utility is also launching a dispatch and service division to ensure that all charging locations are operational 24/7 and any problems are corrected as quickly as possible.
VEVC members provided input on charging station design and lobbied for the network being extended to Sooke, Port Renfrew and Port Hardy as well as located at the exits from BC Ferry terminals.
It was also suggested that emergency charge points be placed halfway up each side of the Malahat to assist EVs stranded during the frequent traffic snarls on that stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway.
The Hydro reps made it clear that rapid adoption of EVs poses no threat to the provincial grid, pointing out that the electricity currently needed for a single pulp mill equated to what would be required to keep 100,000 EVs on the road.
BC Hydro also sought our support in convincing municipalities and local businesses to make locations available for charging facilities and stated that while the utility is set up to adopt time of use pricing, EV owners need to lobby government to make that change to reduce the cost of home charging.