North Saanich council has signalled its support for an electric vehicle charging location at Patricia Bay Park, but also asked staff to explore other possible locations.
Council unanimously agreed to support an application by the Capital Regional District (CRD) for a grant from senior government to build a charging network. With a projected cost of up to $9 million, the proposed network will be operated and maintained by the CRD, which envisions the installation of almost 600 charging ports across about 70 sites in Greater Victoria, including the one at Patricia Bay Park.
“This site was selected based on considerations such as servicing, accessibility, and opportunity for future expansion,” reads a staff report. The location would feature two level two public EV charging stations. The report also noted the final number of ports at any specific location may change.
Councillors, for their part, signalled support for the proposed location in principle, but also tasked staff to talk to the CRD about other locations.
“This would give them some sentiment that we are not against this, but would like to explore it,” said Mayor Geoff Orr.
One possible location mentioned by Coun. Celia Stock during the discussion was the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Information Centre on Highway 17.
Chief administrative officer Tim Tanton also raised the question of whether there could be more locations than just the one at Patricia Bay Park, while generally praising the regional imitative. North Saanich’s current review of the Official Community Plan has also identified charging stations as an opportunity for both public and private lands.
According to plugshare.com, North Saanich is home to two public charging locations, both at the Victoria International Airport. According to chargehub.com, nearby Sidney is home to nine total locations of public and private nature with a Sidney address.
The proposed network would raise the number of public charging stations from four to six in North Saanich’s neighbouring community. Plans call for the replacement of four existing locations at Tulista Park, Iroquois Park, at Third and Bevan Street and Sidney’s Municipal Hall.
The two new locations in Sidney would be at a parking lot for downtown employees near the Community Safety Building and at the CRD-owned Greenglade Community Centre.
While several details of the proposed network remain to be worked out, comments from Nikki Elliott, the CRD’s manager of climate action programs, point toward users having to pay for the use of the stations.
“The CRD will be working with municipal partners to set charging rates,” she said. “(The) aim is to be as consistent as possible.”
If grant application is successful, procurement would begin in late 2023 and the CRD envisions the bulk of installations will occur in 2024 and 2025, Elliott added later. “The grant specifies that all stations must be operational by January 2027.”
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