Gibsons council voted July 3 to support the District of Sechelt’s regional approach towards the development of an electric vehicle charging program.
Using the $2.74-million community charging infrastructure fund, the provincial government is hoping to establish a network of up to 570 electric vehicle charging stations by March 2013.
One incentive allows local governments to apply for up to $4,000 to cover the cost of a new electric vehicle charging station.
Another, funding for the planning process, offers up to $6,000, plus extra funding up to $75,000 based on population.
“I recall that the District of Sechelt had applied for a grant to look at planning for electric vehicle charging stations in a region area,” Gibsons Mayor Wayne Rowe commented during council. “Rather than the Town trying to do the same thing, what we’re looking at doing here is just saying ‘fine, we’ll support you going ahead.’”
A discussion about the Town possibly applying for the grants was held during the June 26 committee of the whole meeting. Discussion focused on the unknown future costs associated with electric vehicle infrastructure and whether municipalities should be in the business of constructing it.
Coun. Lee Ann Johnson raised these issues during Tuesday’s meeting of council.
“The one-hour chargers are on the way so the four-hour chargers will be irrelevant in probably a couple of years, if not before,” she commented. “I think we need to ensure that we have some good look at the criteria that’s being used and the factors that go into the assessment.”
Coun. Gerry Tretick said he too had questions relating to the current practicality of the charging stations as well as their future viability.
“A whole variety of questions will come up,” Tretick predicted. “By the time they are practical, the whole technology may have changed and those particular stations may [not be] applicable any more.”
Regional districts, municipalities, public institutions and businesses could qualify for the funding.
Applications were being accepted until Sept. 28 for the charge station incentive.
An electric vehicle charging station was installed at Olson Electric in Sechelt recently, becoming the first of its kind on the Sunshine Coast.