March 13, 2018 1:26 am

Vancouver looks to expand infrastructure for charging electric vehicles

WATCH: The City of Vancouver is hoping to make driving electric vehicles a more viable option. City hall is set to vote on a report that would expand charging stations. Ted Chernecki has the details.

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Vancouver could soon become a key destination for electric car enthusiasts — or at least those looking for a battery charge.

City council will vote Wednesday on whether to adopt a staff recommendation that would require all new buildings to equip every single parking stall with charging stations.

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That’s a major increase from the city’s earlier mandate of 20 per cent, and it signals a push to make electric vehicles a cornerstone of Vancouver’s renewable city strategy, which calls for the city to be 100 per cent powered by renewable sources by 2050.

READ MORE: B.C. drivers can get up to $12K incentive to buy electric vehicle

“Effectively every parking stall, except for visitor stalls, will be EV-ready,” the city’s climate policy analyst Ian Neville said.

“If you move into a new condo, there will be charging infrastructure for you, so that’s the big part.”

Neville said the city will also be updating and expanding its network of 70 public charging stations.

READ MORE: UPDATE: City of Vancouver approves new fees for electric car charging

By going all-in on electric vehicles, the city is adopting a strategy that private developers have been pushing for years on its own.

Concord Pacific’s upcoming downtown highrise, dubbed The Arc, will include charging capabilities for every one of its underground parking stalls, a feature shared with the developer’s Avenue One condo building in Southeast False Creek.

Concord says including the charging stations in the building plans from the beginning makes financial sense, especially since electric vehicles are becoming more popular as more affordable models are introduced.

READ MORE: Canadians are way behind other countries when it comes to buying electric vehicles

“It’s probably in the neighbourhood of $3-4,000 maximum, so the cost of putting them in is not a big, serious problem,” vice president of sales Grant Murray said.

“What’s really great as a developer is that we can put the infrastructure in ahead of time and keep that cost relatively low.”

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