Vernon planning for major growth in electric vehicles by 2040

WATCH: Vernon is planning to expand its network of electric vehicle charging stations.

The City of Vernon is planning to expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations in the city, as it prepares for a future in which zero-emission vehicles are the norm.

The push comes after the province passed a law calling for all new light duty cars and trucks sold in the province to run on clean energy by 2040.

“For Vernon, it means we need to plan our infrastructure so that we have the charging stations available for the public to use as the numbers increase over time,” said Amanda Watson, the transportation manager for the City of Vernon.

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The city is looking to keep pace with the changing times by working to identify four new locations for charging stations.

Watson said that right now, it’s considered best practice to place fast charging stations a 10-minute drive apart, but the vast majority of charging is expected to be done at home.

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However, the reality is that most Vernon residents, like the majority of British Columbians, are still fueling up.

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The latest stats from ICBC show that, as of 2017, of the 41,000 vehicles insured in Vernon, just 32 were electric and 1,600 were hybrids.

Many drivers Global Okanagan spokes to at a Vernon gas station had thought about going electric, but were concerned about the initial cost or had relatively recently purchased a conventional vehicle and weren’t ready to buy a new car.

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It seems when the switch is practical, drivers are willing to buy into the government’s push towards zero emission vehicles and Vernon is planning to be ready if that wholesale change does happen.