BC government sets aside $26 million for 250 new electric-battery vehicle charging stations

Apr 13 2023, 3:26 am

With the adoption of electric-battery vehicles accelerating, the provincial government is increasing its investments in public charging stations.

Earlier this week, the Government of British Columbia announced a new investment of $26 million to expand the network of public charging stations.

This funding will support about 250 more public light-duty, fast-charging stations, including stations to complete the “Electric Highway” linking communities in a reliable way.

The latest $26-million investment is in addition to the previous 2022 funding of $20 million for the public charging station program.

According to the provincial government, the number of public charging stations in BC reached over 3,800 at the end of 2022, which makes BC one of the largest public charging networks in the country. At the end of 2022, there were 854 fast charging stations across 277 public fast-charging sites, with 45 of those sites being Tesla Supercharger sites.

The total number of public charging stations increased by 24% in 2022 compared to 2021.

These figures are up from just 781 public charging stations in 2016.

The growing network of public charging stations — in addition to private charging facilities — will help address range anxiety, which is one of the main barriers with adopting electric-battery vehicles, according to BC Hydro.

bc electric charging stations highways map 2023

Map of BC’s fast-charging station and hydrogen fuelling station network, as of early 2023. (Government of BC)

“British Columbians are switching to clean energy and cleaner transportation in record numbers as part of our CleanBC plan and leading Canada in the transition to zero emission vehicles,” said Josie Osborne, the BC minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation, in a statement.

“The new funding we are announcing to expand BC’s public charging network will help get more EVs on the road, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and lower fuel costs for people.”

Earlier this year, the federal government also provided BC with $18.5 million towards the goal of building an additional 2,500 charging stations across the province.

According to the provincial government’s newly released update on BC’s uptake of zero-emission vehicle models, electric-battery vehicles accounted for 18.1% of new light-duty passenger vehicles sold in 2022 — up from 13% in 2021.

BC is on target to reach 26% zero-emission sales for new light-duty vehicles in 2026, 90% by 2030, and 100% by 2030, which is the legislated target.

In addition to public charging stations, the provincial and municipal governments are also encouraging the installation of charging equipment at homes and businesses.

Last week, the provincial government announced it will make changes to the Strata Property Act to simplify the process of installing charging stations in strata residential buildings.

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