Gas stations should be provided with the added ability to offer electric-battery vehicle charging services as part of their business, according to a City of Vancouver staff report.
Next week, Vancouver City Council will deliberate city staff’s recommendation to change the business licence fees for gas stations and parking lots in 2021 to encourage the installation of charging stations.
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“Encouraging electric vehicle charging at gas stations and parking lots could be an important tool to make more charging available without relying on City investments. We will implement this through business licensing, which will require collaboration with Development, Buildings and Licensing,” reads a city staff report, outlining a suite of major strategies and policies as part of the city’s proposed Climate Emergency Action Plan.
“There could be different classifications and rates for zero emissions vs. non-zero emissions business licences for gas stations, with a premium charged for the non-zero emissions classification to encourage them to install a specified level of charging.”
This is intended to support the growing adoption of electric-battery vehicles, ahead of the provincial government’s legislated policy of requiring all light-duty vehicle sales in British Columbia to be 100% zero-emission vehicle models by 2040, with interim goals along the way.
This adds to the municipal government’s existing policies of requiring all parking stalls in new residential developments to have chargers, with the same requirement set to be expanded to new non-residential buildings, such as offices and schools, in the future.
Fast-charging hubs will also be required during the development of large site rezonings.
Over the years, the municipal government, provincial government, BC Hydro, and the private sector have funded the installation of new standalone charging stations on the curbside and in public parking lots.
As of the end of 2019, according to ICBC, there were 21,859 electric-battery vehicles registered in the Lower Mainland — up from 2,252 in 2015. Within Vancouver, the number of electric-battery vehicles has grown from 571 in 2015 to 4,878 in 2019.
The overall number of vehicles across all types in Vancouver has increased from 334,200 in 2015 to 386,957 in 2019.