Electric vehicle (EV) drivers are getting a boost to the number of places they can recharge their vehicles.
With a recent announcement the region is getting additional EV stations, there will be more than 35 stations, including fast-charging ones, throughout the Comox Valley.
Regional and provincial government officials recently announced the addition of 10 new charging stations. A map from Plug In BC shows there are currently 27 sites distributed throughout the area: 14 in or around Courtenay, three in Comox, two on Hornby Island, one on Denman Island, one in Cumberland, one at Seal Bay Nature Reserve, one near the tourist centre off of Highway 19, one at Mount Washington and three on Highway 19A south of Courtenay between Union Bay and Mud Bay.
Of the 10 new sites, four will be installed in CVRD areas outside of municipalities. Of the other six, three will be added to Courtenay, two to Cumberland and one to Comox.
“The installation of these new charging stations in key locations across the Valley will be a great benefit to our community that is looking towards a greener future,” CVRD board chair Jesse Ketler said in a news release. “By expanding electric vehicle charging access across our region, we are making cleaner transportation options viable for more residents and visitors.”
The Regional District of Nanaimo is working with 11 other local and regional governments to install 28 new charging stations across Vancouver Island.
“Through our CleanBC economic and climate plan, we are expanding the network of electric vehicle charging stations across Vancouver Island,” MLA for Courtenay-Comox Ronna-Rae Leonard said in an earlier news release. “This investment will encourage more people to pick electric vehicles and contribute to the fight against climate change, while exploring the island and supporting the local tourism economy.”
According to the CVRD, it has already considered locations for the new EV stations, as has the Town of Comox, though final decisions will be subject to site feasibility. The City of Courtenay and the Village of Cumberland are expected to decide on sites in their communities sometime this fall.
The local governments will be issuing a request for proposals for charging station supply and installation work, with installation likely to follow in 2021.
B.C. government statistics show that in the 10 years since electric vehicles were introduced in the province in November 2009, more than 31,000 EVs have been registered. Last year, EVs made up nine per cent of all light-duty vehicles sold, and the per capita number is the highest in North America, even higher than California at eight per cent.