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Use of electric-vehicle charging stations back to pre-pandemic levels: BC Hydro

Majid Moradzadeh, a doctoral student in power engineering, inspects an electric vehicle charging station at UBC Okanagan.
Majid Moradzadeh, a doctoral student in power engineering, inspects an electric vehicle charging station at UBC Okanagan. UBCO

Public use of electric-vehicle charging stations has rebounded since COVID-19 restrictions were eased and is almost back to pre-pandemic levels, BC Hydro says.

In February, the utility recorded more than 21,000 sessions at its 70 fast-charging stations across the province.

That fell to just 12,700 sessions in April when more people were staying at home, but in June, the number was back up to 20,000, Hydro said in a report released Friday.

Read more: COVID-19 case confirmed at Site C work camp in Fort St. John, B.C.

The most popular charging location is at the Grandview Highway Superstore in Vancouver, according to the data, likely due to its proximity to Highway 1.

Other popular stations near major roads or highways include Colwood Park outside Victoria, the Britton Creek Rest Area in the Fraser Valley, and Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops.

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BC Hydro said it encourages drivers to charge their vehicles at home as much as possible during the pandemic, but recognizes many people rely on public charging infrastructure.

In those cases, the company asks everyone to practice social distancing and bring sanitizing wipes or gloves.

Sparks flying at B.C. EV charging stations
Sparks flying at B.C. EV charging stations