Electric vehicles are having a positive impact on air quality in Metro Vancouver, as private companies and public institutions are adding EVs to their fleets. Discover the free app that lets you locate more than 200 charging stations in the region.
It wasn’t quite the Detroit Car Show, but ‘plugging in’ to vehicles was the theme at this springtime event at Metro Vancouver’s head office. These are electric vehicles.
“We recently purchased within our fleet 6 new electric vehicles and we thought this was a great opportunity to show them off to our staff,” explains Eve Fichot – an air quality planner for Metro Vancouver. “It gives them a chance to sit in the cars, plug them in, and learn about some of the air quality benefits.”
Functions like these are part of a burgeoning awareness about electric vehicles -or ‘E-Vs’. E-Vs are also becoming a familiar sight in the city of Vancouver.
At a charging station in a parking lot across the street from City Hall, Sadhu Johnston, the City of Vancouver’s deputy city manager explains how the city is building capacity for the vehicles.
“We partnered with BC Hydro and some others to get some grants, to start installing them (charging stations) at places like this and Easy Park lots and we’ve got funding to get about 70 of these on the ground in Vancouver.”
Interest is also rising as a result of provincial funding for charging stations.
“The province has introduced a $2.7 million initiative to help support electric vehicle charging stations to go up around BC,” says Charlotte Argue, Transportation Analyst with the Fraser Basin Council. “The Fraser Basin Council is administrating this program and our goal is to get 570 stations up around different regions of the province.”
Metro Vancouver is responsible for air quality in the region so they were one of the first to apply for the charging infrastructure fund.
“We have approval to put in between 6 to 8 chargers in Metro Vancouver parks,” says Fichot. “Highly visited parks would be ideal.”
A regular electrical outlet will provide a full charge in about 10 hours but these new stations operate at 240 volts, the same as a household dryer. Charging times are less than half.
“We’ll be putting them up on Plugshare, which is a crowd-sourced publicly accessible app,” says Fichot. “It shows where all the publicly available charging stations are.”
In Metro Vancouver, gasoline-powered vehicles create 33% of Ghg Emissions, 50% of Carbon Monoxide, and 17% of Smog-Forming Pollutants.
“Electric vehicles are zero emitting vehicles,” says Fichot. “They are definitely superior from an air quality perspective.”
“We’ve had lots of interest from businesses, colleges, universities and a lot of municipal governments as well,” says Argue.
As of Feb 2013, more than 200 charging stations were installed across the region.