The Regional District of Nanaimo committee of the whole is recommending creating 10 electric vehicle charging stations in the region. (News Bulletin file)

RDN directors to vote to move ahead on 10 electric vehicle charge stations

Nanaimo City Hall and Descanso Bay among sites for charging stations

Regional District of Nanaimo’s board will decide later this month whether to give the green-light to electric vehicle charging stations across the district.

RDN committee of the whole is recommending approval of 10 charging stations, appropriating $222,222 of corporate climate action reserve fund money to the 2020 budget for installation and budgeting $25,000 in 2020 for costs related to operation and maintenance of stations. According to a staff report, stations will be situated throughout the regional district, including Descanso Bay Regional Park on Gabriola Island, Huddlestone Park in Lantzville and the service and resource centre at Nanaimo City Hall.

A station won’t be situated in Area A, however. The report said a station at Cedar Village Centre would be ideal, but the RDN doesn’t own any facilities in that area.

Vanessa Craig, RDN Area B director, voiced support for the charging stations, but said Descanso Bay might not be the best place as it is separated from the village centre and sees use only six months of the year.

RELATED: RDN interested in cost-sharing for electric car charge stations

Kim Fowler, RDN manager of long-range planning, sustainability and energy, said there is a station in the city core and the Descanso Bay site is close to the ferry as well as downtown.

RDN directors had previously decided not to charge usage fees, at least initially. The number of users will be recorded for purposes of assessing the viability of each station and potential payment options, with the information being used for a future staff report.

Jim Turley, Nanaimo director, wondered about the ability to add payment infrastructure and Fowler said while a tender for stations hasn’t be conducted yet, she expects they will have that ability.

The committee also directed staff to draft a bylaw that would establish “a new service area for the ongoing operations, maintenance and procurement of electric vehicle charging stations,” according to the report.

The board had previously voted to be lead applicant, on behalf of mid-Island municipalities and regional districts, for Clean B.C. Communities Fund money, providing cost sharing from the provincial government for the project.

Clean B.C. would contribute $162,222, while the RDN would contribute $60,000 for charging stations. Installation will be contingent on $162,222 from the Clean B.C. fund to replace climate action reserve fund money.

The committee of the whole recommendations will be forwarded to the RDN regular board meeting on July 23.

Following approval, installation of stations would begin in 2020.

The City of Nanaimo has set aside money for four stations at city facilities in a separate Clean B.C. application, according to the report.

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