Electric cars flourishing in the city

The fascination for electric vehicles in an era of climate change and unprecedented environmental awareness is very strong in Victoria.

Manfred Wissemann is calling for more charging stations for electric cars.

Manfred Wissemann is calling for more charging stations for electric cars.

The release of the Tesla model 3 recently has captured the attention of many people around the globe. Although the vehicle will not be available for another 18 months, pre-orders for the company’s newest electric car have topped the 400,000 mark in North America.

The fascination for electric vehicles in an era of climate change and unprecedented environmental awareness is very strong in Victoria as well. Manfred Wissemann, the founder and president of the Victoria EV (Electric Vehicle) Club, said the club now has more than 600 members — a number that is steadily increasing as more people adopt the new technology.

“We hope that by the year 2050, it will no longer be possible to even register a gas-powered vehicle in the province of B.C.,” said Wissemann. “I’m excited to be around for the change. It’s long overdue.”

But Wisseman adds it’s important the city and other levels of government work to ensure enough charging stations are made available as the number of electric vehicles steadily increase.

It’s a passion shared by Esquimalt’s Mayor Barb Desjardins, herself an owner of a hybrid vehicle.

“We definitely need more charging stations, and as a municipal government we have some interesting opportunities to be part of the solution,” said Desjardins, adding that Esquimalt council has begun to ask that charging stations be a part of any development plan brought before them.

“Parkview Townhouses are a good example of that approach working well,” she said. “We (council) put it forward to the developer and he bought in. The result is that each of the townhouses is equipped with a charging station.”

Other initiatives have also led to an increase in available charging stations in Victoria.

The province’s $2.7 million Community Charging Infrastructure Fund (CCIF)  substantially increased the number of charging stations available to the public resulting in 550 Level 2 charging stations in B.C.

The Capital Regional District reports more than 100 charging stations are available in the region.

“There’s no doubt that we need to look at strategies to create more charging stations,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “We have eight stations in our parkades right now but we know that we have to do a lot more. It’s something we want to do to help reduce the carbon footprint of our city and encourage a greener approach to transportation.”

Wissemann said the general public may be confused about why charging stations are required, with many believing electric cars can simply be charged at home.

Although it is possible for owners to simply plug in their electric vehicle at home to “trickle charge” the batteries, Wissemann explained the need for the higher voltage stations are critical.

Standard homes offer 120 volts of alternating current and, although most electric cars can be charged using a simple plug, the charging time is problematic. For example, the Nissan Leaf can take 15 hours to charge from a standard household source.

A Level 2 charging station (drawing 240 volts) can be installed at home for about $800 to $1,000 and drop that charging time to about four hours.

The real solution, said Wissemann, is for more Level 3 charging stations to be established in Victoria.

Those stations draw 480 volts and can charge the average electric car in 30 minutes.

“It’s getting better, but governments have to realize that a tide of electric vehicles will be arriving very soon, and the time to plan ahead is now,” he said, adding other countries like Holland, India, and China have strategies in place to provide charging stations in far greater numbers than has been envisioned here, such as charging units attached to street lamp poles where power supplies already exist.

Mandu Goebl, the general sales manager for Campus Nissan, acknowledged more Level 3 charging stations are needed, but said the situation is already much better than it was in the past.

“As more electric vehicles are sold, there’s been a huge increase in the charging stations already. We see them popping up all over the place…at recreation centres, parking lots, business and all over,” he said.

Goebl adds he has no doubt the marketplace will respond to the need for charging stations. “It’s the way of the future, and as a greater variety of larger vehicles come available as electric, the number of electric cars on the road will explode.”

 

editor@vicnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death of North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Jimmy Fallon joked that a woman’s 4.5-star review of a Langford jail is “the most Canadian thing you could do” in The Tonight Show Jan. 21. (Screenshot/YouTube)
VIDEO: Jimmy Fallon jokes Canadian jails are basically hotels following woman’s 4.5-star review

Woman gave handwritten card to police following stay in Langford cells

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Following a cease work order from the District of Highlands in October, the BC Supreme Court ruled Jan. 20. that bylaws won’t apply to O.K. Industries’ work until its quarrying activity is complete. (Courtesy of District of Highlands)
BC Supreme Court rules Highlands quarry work can continue

District bylaws won’t apply until quarrying activities are complete

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Most Read