City set to take next steps on expanding electric vehicle infrastructure

March 9, 2018 (Vancouver, B.C.) - Next week, Vancouver City Council will vote on a report from City staff that outlines a massive expansion of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across Vancouver to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles. If approved, Vancouver will be one of the first cities globally to require new residential buildings to be 100 per cent EV ready, meaning that all parking spots—excluding visitor parking—must be equipped with charging infrastructure, a significant increase over the current requirement of 20 per cent. The report also recommends building more Fast Charging hubs and creating reserved parking stalls for zero emission vehicles at City-owned EasyPark lots. 

“Our goal is to be 100 per cent renewably powered by 2050 but we can’t do it without providing the infrastructure people need in order to make the transition to electric vehicles cost-effective and practical,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver is already home to the largest public EV charging network in the province and I urge Council to approve this report so that we can take our EV infrastructure to the next level.”

Vancouver has the largest municipal fleet of 30 EVs in Canada, powered by more than 70 City-owned charging stations, which are among the most heavily used in the province. EV sales are projected to steadily increase—70 per cent year-over-year from 2011—and with more electric vehicles on the road, the need for convenient charging stations is greater than ever.

In 2014, a total of 17,000 new EV ready parking stalls were created in homes across the city, far surpassing the required 20 per cent, or 11,000 spaces. Two years later in 2016, City Council approved the Electric Vehicle Ecosystem Strategy, which aims to build a seamless infrastructure network at homes, workplaces, and in public spaces that will make charging an EV a hassle-free experience.

Recognizing that easy access to charging stations is a key barrier for many considering a zero emission vehicle, the City recently approved a new Curbside EV Charging Pilot to provide charging access for commercial businesses and single-family homeowners who do not have access to off-street parking. Moreover, the City’s Green Homes Program requires all single-family homes be outfitted to allow for the easy installation of charging stations in the future.

Reducing vehicle emissions is critical to achieving the goals set out in Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy, which aims to derive 100 per cent of the city’s energy from renewable sources by 2050.

Find out more about the City of Vancouver’s electric vehicle strategy here: vancouver.ca/electric-vehicles