Parksville electric vehicle (EV) drivers will have access to three more charging stations as part of the Mid-Island Electric Vehicle Charging Station Network agreement between the city, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), the Community Energy Association and 10 other local governments. Council voted in favour of signing the agreement at its last regular meeting.
One charging station, with two connectors, will be installed in the vicinity of the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre (PCTC) and two will be placed at the arena at Wembley Mall, according to Blaine Russell, the city’s director of community planning and building.
Parksville currently has two charging stations located at the PCTC and one in the community park, which costs the city about $3,378 per year, Russell said.
The city will be responsible for the station at the PCTC, while the stations at Wembley Mall will be covered by the RDN.
Following Russell’s presentation to council, several members expressed concern about a lack of charging fees for the stations. Russell said typically places that charge cost $1–2 dollars per hour.
The charging stations will be part of a network of 28 single and dual port EV stations stretching from Tofino to Campbell River to Lantzville and installation will be funded by a grant through the Clean BC Communities Fund. Russell said he is not aware of any available grants that cover the operating costs of EV charging stations.
“Giving somebody free transportation on one side, or subsidizing their transportation on one side is not fair to the person on the other, because let’s face it, lower income families are the ones that can’t afford the EVs and they’re the ones that are going to be paying full price for gas,” said Mayor Ed Mayne, who added he does not think one dollar per hour is significant.
The city’s chief administrative officer, Keeva Kehler, said the city could monitor the usage for a year and then decide on charging fees.
Council voted unanimously in favour of signing the five year participation agreement for the PCTC charging station.