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Greater Victoria’s public EV charging stations need to quadruple by 2030: report

Reaching CRD’s light-duty vehicle goal of 25 per cent EVs will require $31 million investment
A two-space electric vehicle charging station opened on Store Street this spring. The region needs to ramp up its infrastructure installation progress to meet goals for EV use, according to a new report. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria/ Twitter)

Greater Victoria meeting its emissions reduction goals will require a significant increase in the number of the electric vehicles (EV) on the road and, according to a recently released report, building the necessary charging infrastructure will cost $31 million by 2030.

Capital Regional District staff, working with Dunsky Energy Consulting, recently completed the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Roadmap.

At the current growth rate, it states, electric vehicles will make up just 11 per cent of the region’s total light-duty vehicles by 2030 – well short of the 25 per cent goal. If Greater Victoria wants a quarter of all drivers behind the wheel of an EV by the decade’s end, the report continued, charging stations and related infrastructure need to be in place to attract more drivers.

Light-duty passenger vehicles currently account for 90 per cent of all vehicles in the capital region. Converting that group to electric rides is a key strategy in local and senior governments’ climate plans, according to the EV roadmap.

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It added most future EV drivers will plug in at home, but with not all drivers having that option, an equitable rollout of public charging stations will be needed. That includes hundreds of Level 2 charging stations in public areas such as shopping centres, recreation centres, community hubs and workplaces. The number of total public charging ports will need to quadruple by 2030, the report said.

The $31-million estimated investment needed calls for $7.7 million for 770 Level 2 ports and $23.1 million for 132 direct current fast chargers. Such investments should begin by 2023, the roadmap stated, identifying several senior government programs that could be potential funding opportunities.

Fifty-five per cent of residents in the CRD live in multi-family dwellings, which are more challenging to retrofit with charging infrastructure than options for a single-family home, according to the report. Retrofitting all parking stalls at once is significantly less expensive, per stall, than upgrading one or two at a time, it noted.

The roadmap said CRD municipalities should mandate all new multi-family developments to include EV charging access, and noted some communities are already in the process of implementing such policies.

A 2018 CRD survey found 92 per cent of residents considered important or very important having all new builds equipped with vehicle charging options.

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Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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