The Real Canadian Superstore in Nanaimo is one of the central Island locations with an EV fast-charger. (File photo)

The Real Canadian Superstore in Nanaimo is one of the central Island locations with an EV fast-charger. (File photo)

Province promotes EV charge station network on the mid Island

Ministry of energy and low-carbon innovation encourages zero-emission vehicles

British Columbia’s network of public electric vehicle fast-charging stations is making it easier for people travelling Vancouver Island’s highways to charge up their EVs in Nanaimo, Cassidy and Port Alberni.

Placing fast chargers along travel routes and high-traffic public places makes it easier for people to travel long distances in their EVs and save on fuel costs while spurring economic recovery in B.C., according to a B.C. government press release Friday.

“More and more British Columbians are switching to electric vehicles to save on fuel costs and reduce air pollution,” said Bruce Ralston, minister of energy, mines and low-carbon innovation, in the release. “Through Clean B.C., we’re working with our partners to expand our EV charging network across the province, make it easier for drivers to go electric and put B.C. on the road to a clean energy future.”

The latest fast charger installations result from a partnership between the provincial government, Natural Resources Canada, B.C. Hydro and Nanaimo Airport Commission.

The public charging stations are located at 6435 Metral Dr., Nanaimo with one new station operated by B.C. Hydro; at 3350 Spitfire Rd., Cassidy, where four charging stations are operated by Nanaimo Airport Commission and at 3455 Johnston Rd., Port Alberni, with one new station, operated by B.C. Hydro.

“In the first six months of operation we had 1,300 charges and saved 18.1 tonnes of greenhouse gases and we were very pleased with the uptake and we also put it out there that we’re going to extend the free period to the end of the year,” said Devana, Nanaimo Airport president and CEO. “It’s been very successful.”

B.C. has one of the largest public EV charging networks in Canada, according to the province. At the end of 2020, there were more than 2,500 public charging stations in B.C. including more than 480 fast-charging stations. B.C. also has the highest uptake rates of zero-emission vehicle adoption with more than 54,000 ZEVs registered by the end of 2020.

The province said in the release that the charging station investments are part of the province’s broader strategy to move toward 100 per cent new light-duty ZEV sales by 2040.

To learn more about the Clean B.C. Go Electric public charger program, click this link.

READ ALSO: Province spending $210,000 to install EV chargers at Snaw-Naw-As Market



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