Stories & Features

Seven Vancouver-area electric vehicle stations get an upgrade

Electric vehicle charging station

Originally installed with only Japanese-style plug, stations now feature two ports

The Japanese introduced a DC fast charger plug for electric vehicles back in 2010, then North America stepped in with its own DC fast charger connector. But the North American standard is still playing catch-up, even in B.C.

While all recent DC fast charger stations installed by BC Hydro across B.C. have been equipped with both connector styles, the first 15 installations were the Japanese (CHAdeMO) plug only. So BC Hydro has started retrofitting some of those earlier stations – we've upgraded 10 so far – with both styles in a dual port station.

"We were so early in the market that [the CHAdeMO] was all that was available," says Alec Tsang, a senior technologies strategist with BC Hydro. "Then a few years later the second standard – the North American standard (CCS) – became available. Now the new stations have two connectors on them."

In a project supported by funding from BC Hydro, the Government of B.C. and BMW (whose electric vehicles require the SAE Combo (aka CCS) plug), BC Hydro and/or Powertech Labs have so far upgraded the following stations:

PlugShare includes information about connectors and more

PlugShare doesn't just help you find charging stations, it also supplies a lot of useful information on each individual station. And you can narrow your search immediately by choosing filters including type (residential, public, high-power, in-use stations) and – via an options menu – connector type, free or by payment, and payment type.

When you search for stations by address, or by typing in a given city or region, you can click on each station and get details including:

  • Types of plugs offered
  • Directions to the station
  • Costs (if any), payment method & parking fees
  • Last check in by a driver
  • User ratings and comments
  • Operating hours