The electric charging station at West Shore Parks and Recreation Centre are now live after being idle since installation in February.

The electric charging station at West Shore Parks and Recreation Centre are now live after being idle since installation in February.

Active West Shore electric car stations idle at times

Stations at West Shore parks and rec went months before going live April 5

Charging stations are popping up across the region including several on the West Shore.

Still, Marti Martin-Wood chooses to charge her car at home.

Martin-Wood lives in Metchosin where one public electric station exists and another is scheduled to be installed in the village core by the end of May.

“I have used the one at the community house once,” said Martin-Wood. It’s easier to do at home, she added, even though a full charge can take 18 hours.

“The problem with the charging stations is they take about four hours, so you need an appointment or something to do in that time,” Martin-Wood explained.

Though she hasn’t used the charging stations much, Martin-Wood still thinks they are a good idea.

“We will go and park at the charging station and then take the dog for a walk or go for a hike,” Martin-Wood said.

At West Shore Parks and Recreation parking spaces designated for electric vehicles only. The lot was redesigned to add five parking spaces plus the two converted for electric charging. However, when the parking lot is full of cars, gas-fuelled vehicles are parking in the electric car only spots. The stations and signage were installed in February, but due to an installation error they were not activated until April 5.

“They have been used by non-electric vehicles but we are hoping now that they are working we hope people respect that,” said Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton.

Colwood also installed two stations at the Park and Ride at West Shore Parks and Recreation and at city hall.

A charging station at City Centre Park has been operating since the end the March. The station works on a card system and so far it hasn’t been used said Langford parks manager Mike Leskiw.

The charging station parking is reserved for electric vehicles only and Leskiw said patrons respect that and no gasoline-powered cars have parked there.

The Metchosin Community House also added additional parking spaces when it added the charging station in March.

Metchosin plans to add signage to both charging stations explaining the purpose, but initially will not  police who parks.

“If we notice difficulty and complaints then we will install more signage,” said Lisa Urlacher, Metchosin corporate officer.

Metchosin selected charging stations with long enough cables to stretch and reach an electric vehicle not directly beside the station.

The Royal Bay Bakery also has a long cord that can reach the vehicles so a gasoline-powered vehicle wouldn’t have to move to accommodate an electric vehicle.

Bakery owner David Grove charges his own electric vehicle at the bakery five or six times a week. He has repeat customers who bring their vehicles to charge, often from out of town from places including Pender Island and Mill Bay.

“I know a courier who stops by for lunch and a quick charge,” said Grove. “You get about 25 kilometres of range for a one hour charge.”

Grove has never experienced a parking lot too full to accommodate an electric vehicle.

“I have not had that happen yet, but it will come up,” Grove said. “I think having a designated spot is a good idea, but I don’t think people should get fined for parking in it. They could just get issued an information ticket.

While the West Shore gets used to seeing electric vehicle only parking spots, Grove thinks it’s something that should be eased in,”much like handicap parking spaces were.”