More charging stations, like this Level 2 unit at Central Saanich Municipal Hall, may appear in Central Saanich. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

More car chargers are in the works for Central Saanich

Central Saanich is finding a way to charge more electric cars.

In a joint motion, King and Windsor stated they wanted Central Saanich staff to provide options for a community-wide electric vehicle charging strategy which would consider public and private charging infrastructure in new developments and explore incentives for retrofitting existing buildings. The District received provincial funding for Level 2 charging stations at Central Saanich Municipal Hall and the Cultural Centre in Brentwood Bay, but they charge at a slower speed than Level 3 chargers, for which King has lobbied.

Councillor Zeb King and Mayor Ryan Windsor both noted they asked District staff last month to look into the idea as well. King said he felt that by doing similar work at the same time, they could co-operate.

“I think it’s an opportune time for Central Saanich council to perhaps liaise with Saanich council on this to gather similar information,” said King.

Coun. Niall Paltiel was in support, and highlighted that businesses would be involved in building some of this infrastructure so the taxpayers would not have to fund all of it necessarily.

Coun. Alicia Holman was supportive of the sentiment, if not the motion. She wondered how the motion might tie in with broader goals on sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions. King said while it did not directly tie in with those goals, it was more of a practical consideration.

“We address development proposals every other week, and I think it’s wise for our municipality to develop a strategy,” said King, noting the District of Saanich was doing similar work and there “may be economies of scale, sort of” by sharing some information, even though they were not formally working as one unit.

Holman appreciated that electric cars were becoming more popular, but was ultimately not supportive, because she felt it was “not the priority for Central Saanich,” instead preferring to focus staff time and money on improving other areas like transit, rainwater collection or walkability which she felt would have more impact.

Windsor said that if expectations remained realistic, the District could accomplish this as well as other works. He also said all the graphs he had seen showed a sharp increase in electric vehicle adoption after 2020, which he said was “imminent.”

The item passed with Holman in opposition.

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