On Aug. 17, The Regional District of Nanaimo, in partnership with the City of Parksville, the Town of Qualicum Beach, and the District of Lantzville was awarded a provincial planning grant from the Community Charging Infrastructure Fund to identify strategic locations for Level II Electric Vehicle Charging Stations across the region.
The innovative new project will enable each of the local government partners to identify appropriate locations for charging infrastructure within their boundaries, to work with prospective charging station hosts, and to prioritize 12 sites for installation by Mar. 31, 2013.
The City of Parksville is set to receive two stations and the neighboring community of Qualicum Beach will receive two stations of its own. The District of Lantzville will receive one station and all seven of the RDN Electoral Areas will receive a charging station.
The City of Nanaimo was also successful in earning a similar grant, which will identify charging station locations within city limits, resulting in 12 additional stations within the City of Nanaimo.
Level II charging stations are capable of fully charging electric drive vehicles in three to eight hours. Charging stations are ideally situated in places that are accessible to residents and visitors, and where vehicles are usually parked for three or more hours.
RDN Chairperson Joe Stanhope sees the project as a valuable way to continue to show leadership in the Province. “We recognize there is a transformation coming, and more and more electric vehicles will be on the road,” he says. “As a transportation hub and tourism destination, the RDN and our municipal partners are staying ahead of this transition by planning for 24 new Level II charging stations in the Region.”
Emphasizing the collaborative nature of the project, Town of Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek says. “We’re supportive of a regional approach to this planning. By working together we can create a useable network of charging stations and expand the options for electric vehicle linkages up the east side of Vancouver Island and west to the coast.”
Mayor Chris Burger of the City of Parksville is equally enthusiastic about the initiative. “The expansion of electric vehicle charging stations is the next step in promoting more widespread use of electric vehicles on Vancouver Island by residents and visitors alike. The preservation of the natural, pristine environment in which we live will only be enhanced by providing the infrastructure to support this and future green technologies,” Burger says.
The provincial government funding provided through the Community Charging Infrastructure Fund has been instrumental in enabling this region to start planning for the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the region.