It was around noon last Thursday when Jenny Sopcak’s daughter went to the electric vehicle charging station in Horseshoe Bay.
She plugged in the Nissan Leaf and stayed in the car while she gave it a quick charge.
“When she pushed the button to turn the car on all the dashboard lights lit up and the car was basically inoperable,” Sopcak told Global News.
“She couldn’t put it into forward or reverse. It was clear something catastrophic had happened so we called the dealership and they just said, ‘Yeah, it needs to be towed’.”
Sopcak said another driver with a Nissan Leaf plugged in at the charger while her daughter was waiting for the tow truck and the same thing happened to his vehicle. He also ended up needing a tow.
That charging station is owned by BC Hydro.
The company said it was notified of the issue with the station last week.
“What happened is two Nissan Leaf drivers plugged into the charging unit. Once it was finished charging, they were unable to drive their vehicles,” BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott told Global News.
“This is the first time we’ve seen anything like this happen in any of our charging sites right across the province.”
Scott said BC Hydro has 124 charging sites across B.C. and added that only Nissan Leaf drivers seemed to have an issue at this station. Other electric vehicles were able to charge with no issues.
“However, as soon as we were made aware of what happened, we did remove the unit from the system completely,” she added.
“What happened was the power module in both of the vehicles were damaged and that’s what helps them adjust voltage.”
Sopcak said she has been quoted almost $7,000 for the repair as her car was purchased used and without a warranty.
She is going to pay out of pocket and is hoping BC Hydro will reimburse her.
Scott said they are working with both drivers to deal with their claims and rectify the issue.
“We have escalated both of those claims to make sure this gets dealt with as quickly as possible,” she said.