B.C. receives $26 million in new funding for EV charging stations

British Columbia leads Canada in the adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), and the provincial government wants to keep it that way.

That’s the message from Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Josie Osborne, who announced Tuesday that $26 million in new funding will be provided for public charging stations across the province.

“By 2022, EVs will account for more than 18 percent of new light passenger vehicle sales,” Osborne said. “The highest proportion of any province or territory in Canada.”

“This year, British Columbia achieved the highest score of any province or territory on the Canadian Electric Vehicle Zero Emissions Vehicle Scorecard.”

Osborne announced the funding in Maple Ridge, which she called the new mile zero for the BC Electric Highway.

“More charging stations mean we’re making EV an easier option for British Columbians and helping reduce range anxiety,” Osborne said.

Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman said the $26 million in funding will help the government achieve its goal of having 10,000 public electric vehicle charging stations in B.C. by 2030.

In the near future, the new funding will build 250 public lightweight fast charging stations across British Columbia.

Osborne explained that as B.C. ZEV sales increase from 24,263 in 2021 to 30,004 in 2022, demand for these charging stations will also increase.

Under the government’s Zero Emission Vehicles Act, 26% of light vehicle sales must be zero-emission vehicles by 2026, 90% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.

“Once you own an EV, you still need to maintain it, so we recently expanded the CleanBC go electric EV maintenance training program to more BC universities,” Osborne said.

“So now, more automotive technicians can upgrade their skills, and more British Columbians will have the confidence to make a difference knowing their electric vehicles are being serviced by qualified professionals.”

Maple Ridge Mayor Dan Ruimy called the funding a timely announcement as the council prepares for Thursday’s Climate Action Leadership Summit.

“We’re excited to invest in our own fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles in Maple Ridge, as well as charging facilities across the city, to support our residents in choosing cleaner transportation and finding low-cost charging options,” said Ruimy.

“We look forward to expanding our public electric vehicle charging infrastructure and this funding will support our local communities.”

The new funding will especially help smaller communities like Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, explained Harry Constantine, president of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association.

“This will benefit all British Columbians, including remote communities,” Constantine said. “We’re pleased to see the province investing in these measures.”

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(LR) Blair Qualey, Coun., New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia. Jenny Tan, MP. Korleen Carreras, MLA Bob D’Eith, MLA Lisa Beare, Energy Secretary Josie Osborne, Mayor Dan Ruimy, Coun. Sunny Schiller and Ron Burton of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association both helped announce $26 million in new funding to help BC increase the number of its EV charging stations. (Brandon Tucker/News)

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