Electric vehicle (EV) drivers using Saanich-owned charging stations will pay for use in 2021.
Starting Jan. 4, the district will charge $1/hour for use of its charging stations – a three-hour time limit will remain in effect.
According to the district, the decision to implement a fee for use of the charging stations came after staff noted congestion at the chargers.
“The user fee is intended to encourage turnover, as well as recuperate the costs of electricity and maintenance of the stations,” the district said in a written statement.
Saanich opted for a $1/hour fee to align with the fees already in place at EV stations owned by the Township of Esquimalt.
There are 75 public EV charging stations in operation in Saanich – 12 of which are level 2 charging stations located at the four recreation centres, the Cedar Hill Golf Course and municipal hall – with another 20 scheduled to be installed in 2021. The district also operates 20 charging stations for its fully electric fleet of passenger vehicles used by staff.
“By adding more charging stations to our network, we’re making it easier for more people to plug in and make the switch, and I look forward to seeing the charging network continue to expand,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “In the public space, a nominal user fee will help promote turnover so more people can access charging stations, while still keeping the price of fueling EVs much lower than filling a gas-powered vehicle.”
In June, Saanich received a $100,000 grant from the Natural Resources Canada (NRC) Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program to help install the 20 new chargers at municipal facilities as well as at four municipal parks – Beckwith Park, Cadboro-Gyro Park, Hampton Park and Mount Douglas Park. Up to $280,000 was allotted from the district’s strategic initiative contingency fund to complete the installation.