District of West Van to charge for a charge
Electric vehicle users in West Vancouver will now have to pay to charge their cars at any of the district’s 10 charging stations.
The fee for using a district-owned electric vehicle charging station will be $2 per hour within the designated parking time limit, and $5 per hour for each additional hour.
There are currently 10 charging stations spread throughout the district, comprising five public-facing Level 2 charging stations - two at Gleneagles Community Centre, two at the West Vancouver Community Centre, and one at the municipal hall.
There are also three Level 2 charging stations, dedicated for staff use at the municipal hall in the underground parking, and two for personal use in the police parking area.
Following the approval of the 2023 budget, four additional stations are due to be installed in the north parking lot at the municipal hall later this year.
There had been a unanimous vote of agreement for council Monday evening, with members citing the need to increase availability for EV drivers as their reason for support.
“If this encourages turnover, it’ll be great,” said Mayor Mark Sager, adding how he often sees drivers hook up their vehicles to the chargers behind the municipal hall and leave them there all day, leaving others hoping to use the station disgruntled.
Coun. Christine Cassidy said she was “very happy” with the implementation of the program for the same reason, adding how drivers often park their car up for charging before getting picked up for a second driver and disappearing for the afternoon.
“Most of us have been living high on the hog for a very long time with the free, or very inexpensive, parking,” added Coun. Linda Watt. “For me, personally, I wouldn’t walk away if it was three bucks an hour,” she said, adding how even “after all these years” it is still “insanely inexpensive” to run an electric vehicle.
Environmental awareness was a key driver of discussion among members, with Coun. Nora Gambioli saying she wanted to take the conversation as an opportunity to encourage everyone around the council table to purchase an electric vehicle, “regardless of the fact that it may cost $2 an hour to charge it.”
Funds gained from the paid charging initiative will be put into the Environmental Reserve Fund with the aim of expanding and maintaining the district’s charging station network.
Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.
Mina Kerr-Lazenby, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News