The ability to keep a battery-electric vehicle powered for free using BC Hydro’s public charging infrastructure will come to an end later this week.
Starting on May 1, 2021, charging infrastructure operated by BC Hydro will come with fees, with rates of $0.12 per minute for fast charging at 25 kW stations, $0.21 per minute for fast charging at kW stations, and $0.27 per minute for 100 kW stations.
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It takes about an hour on average to fully charge a car, but this of course depends on a wide range of factors such as the size of the car battery and the capabilities of the vehicle based on make and model.
British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) provided BC Hydro with approval of these interim rates last month.
In its application to the regulator, BC Hydro states the collected revenue from users will cover at least the cost of electricity and a portion of the station installation and maintenance costs. This reduces the share of subsidized costs for the infrastructure by all ratepayers.
If BC Hydro were to recover all electricity, installation, and operational costs, based on the 50 kW charging station scenario and a market utilization rate of 5%, it would have to charge $0.81 per minute.
BCUC’s approved rates for BC Hydro are comparable to the rates for charging infrastructure operated by FortisBC, Hydro Quebec, Petro-Canada, Electrify Canada, and Tesla.
The province’s electric utility currently has 70 charging locations, and another seven locations are under construction. The stations are open 24/7 and capable of charging vehicles that support CCS or CHAdeMO DC connectors.