Sidney has no immediate plans to increase its network of charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs), but residents will see some improvements in the local charging infrastructure in the near future.
“BC Hydro will be doubling the capacity for the fast chargers at the [town] parking lot at Bevan and Seventh Street in March,” said Andrew Hicik, Sidney’s director of corporate services and chief financial officer. “Beyond this, the Town has no current plans to expand our network, but will be keeping an eye on supply versus demand as we move forward.”
Sidney currently operates four Level 2 public charging stations at its town hall, Parking Lot F (Third and Bevan), Tulista Park and Iroquois Park. BC Hydro also operates a fast-charging Level 3 station at Bevan and Seventh. Sidney does not have records for EV stations on private properties.
Sidney, along with the rest of the Saanich Peninsula, has one of the highest ownership rates of EVs in terms of absolute and relative numbers on Vancouver Island, according to Statistics from the Victoria Electric Vehicle Association. They show 8.5 licensed full electric vehicles per 1,000 residents as of March 31, 2019 – 198 total vehicles.
These figures mean Sidney ranks fourth in ownership and second on a per capita basis. Central Saanich ranks in 11th place in raw numbers, but fourth on a per capita basis, and the municipality has just announced the formation of a committee tasked with helping the municipality meets its ambitious new climate change goals.
Developments are also underway in Sidney. Council tasked staff in December to speed up the conversion of the municipality’s fleet towards EVs after having asked its staff to prepare a request for expressions of interest (REOI) from third parties with an eye towards turning over operation and maintenance of the four public charging stations to a private company.
Sidney is also looking at ways to up the number of private charging stations. “We are aware that senior governments are providing grant opportunities to individuals to install their own charging stations at home,” he said. “We are also requiring the installation of conduit to facilitate the future addition of charging stations for all new multi-family developments. An upcoming review of the parking bylaw will likely strengthen this requirement.”
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