Electric cars are anticipated to gain popularity in the coming years, so the City of Nanaimo wants to make sure it has the necessary infrastructure in place to help keep them charged.
The city was recently awarded a $12,000 provincial grant to prioritize 12 sites within the city to locate Level 2 charging stations.
Those locations, said Bruce Labelle, the city’s fleet manager, will be strategically placed throughout Nanaimo to ensure charging stations are available for those who need them.
The city is looking for local businesses interested in having a charging station to come forward.
“We want to ensure the infrastructure is there and the provincial government wants to as well,” said Labelle.
“It’s all about greenhouse gas reduction so we’re all working together at different levels of government to try and make sure this is a success story, and that electric vehicles are here to stay.”
The Regional District of Nanaimo was awarded a similar grant, which will result in 24 charging stations throughout the region, including one in Lantzville.
There are an estimated 100 electric vehicles on Vancouver Island. The city currently has four Level 2 charging stations available – two at Beban Park and one each at parkades downtown.
Level 2 charging stations are capable of fully charging electric drive vehicles in three to eight hours.
Through the Community Charging Infrastructure Fund, the province will cover 75 per cent or up to $4,000 of the cost of installing a Level 2 charging station for businesses that wish to participate.
The 12 chosen sites are expected to be determined by spring 2013.
“During the recent strategic planning process it was made clear that residents are looking to the city to continue our efforts to make and support environmentally sustainable choices,” said Mayor John Ruttan in a release.
Regional employers, businesses and other stakeholders interested in working with the city to establish more charging stations can contact Labelle at Bruce.Labelle@nanaimo.ca.
“We want people to buy electric vehicles with confidence and to eliminate the range anxiety,” said Labelle. “If the infrastructure is there to charge these cars up, more people will use them.”