Sidney’s conversion to more electric vehicles will require more electric vehicle chargers, a new report finds (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney’s conversion to more electric vehicles will require more electric vehicle chargers, a new report finds (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney charges up conversion of municipal vehicle fleet

Availability of charging stations, vehicle types and maintenance may be barriers

Sidney wants to drive its vehicle fleet into an electric future as part of its climate action plan, but might hit several roadblocks along the way.

That is one of the messages found in a new report in which staff detail efforts to speed up the conversion of Sidney’s fleet of light-duty vehicles to electric vehicles.

Issues concern the number of charging stations, the availability of vehicle types, and access to maintenance.

Jenn Clary, Sidney’s director of engineering, said in the report that staff expects multiple new electric vehicle types to become available within a few years, as the electric vehicle industry is quickly evolving. But Sidney’s conversion to more electric vehicles will require more electric vehicle chargers at both Sidney’s Town Hall and works yard.

RELATED: Expert says Sidney appears on track with plans for EV charging infrastructure

RELATED: Sidney considers turning over public charging stations to private company

Another issue is the availability of certain vehicle types. Consider the following example. Sidney’s fire department operates five special service vehicles and to “staff’s knowledge, there are currently no electric special service vehicles available for purchase,” said Clary.

And when electric vehicles are available, access to maintenance becomes an issue.

Sidney currently has four cargo vans that run on gas, with one of those vans scheduled for replacement in 2020. While staff are aware of several possible options for purchase, future maintenance needs must be considered. “If very little of the maintenance can be done in house, this may not be an attractive option,” said Clary.

A comparable picture emerges when it comes to pickup trucks, whose “versatility” allows staff to perform multiple jobs, said Clary, adding that the the need for pickup trucks won’t go away.

RELATED: Sidney could pump up electric vehicle charging across community

RELATED: Sidney says it has not received any complaints about vehicles hogging EV charging stations

But manufacturers have not focused on trucks suitable for fleet use, she said. While Sidney currently has a replacement budget between $30,000 and $35,000, models available will likely cost a minimum of $60,000 to $80,000.

“Another downside to purchasing an electric vehicle from a new brand, such as a Tesla or a Rivian, is that the Town will have limited ability to maintain them in house,” she said. “Tesla, for example, does not currently have a repair shop on Vancouver lsland, so major repairs would require staff to drive the pickup truck to Vancouver to be repaired.”

Tesla’s Cybertruck presented just days after Clary had prepared her report has a starting price of $39,900 (US), topping out at $69,900.

Council received the report and asked staff to apply for grants that would allow the municipality to increase the number of charging stations.

Sidney operates one electric car, two gasoline-electric hybrid SUVs, five gasoline specials service vehicles, four gasoline cargo vans and 13 gasoline pickup trucks.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Starting in June, Government Street will be closed to most vehicles between Humboldt and View streets. A section of Government Street was transformed into a pedestrian-priority walkway in the wake of COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria plans 10-hour closures of Government Street come June

City’s business relief plan extended, Government St. from Humboldt to View closed noon to 10 p.m.

Cyclists cruised around Saanich at the 2017 Cycling Festival. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich scavenger hunt replaces annual Cycling Festival

Participants encouraged to ‘walk or roll’ to 20 secret sites, submit photo proof for prizes

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

A member of the Belmont Secondary School in Langford has tested positive for COVID-19, the Sooke School District announced Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Positive COVID-19 case identified at Belmont Secondary School in Langford

Other school members could’ve been exposed on April 20

This photo shows crews the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Central Saanich rallies around couple who lost home of 25 years

A GoFundMe campaign is currently underway for Carla and Brian Wallace

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read