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New fast charging stations offer convenience & choice for EV owners

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Last month, the Province of B.C., along with BC Hydro, announced a program that will help electric vehicle owners across British Columbia.

13 new direct current (DC) stations will be installed in communities across B.C., paving the way to peace of mind for customers that want to know they can keep their vehicle charged as they travel. Unlike level 2 stations which require about 8 hours to charge a vehicle, cars using fast chargers can achieve an 80 per cent charge in only 20 to 30 minutes.

The 13 communities that will be home to the new stations include:

  • City of North Vancouver
  • District of North Vancouver
  • Duncan
  • Hope
  • Merritt
  • Nanaimo
  • Saanich
  • Squamish
  • Surrey
  • Township of Langley
  • Vancouver
  • Whistler

In addition to the new DC stations, more than 500 level 2 charging stations will be available by the end of March 2013 in communities across B.C.

Clean energy highway from Whistler to California

The DC stations are part of a unique project designed to enable green driving all along the Pacific Coast. When the stations are installed (targeted for the end of March 2013), they'll form the B.C. section of the West Coast Green Highway, which ensures that electric vehicle fast charging is deployed along the Highway 99/I-5 Corridor, through British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon and California.

Eventually, you'll be able to drive an electric vehicle from Whistler all the way to San Diego, California with access to fast charging all along the route.

Rebates for electric vehicles, charging infrastructure available until March 31

The DC fast charging stations are just one part of the Clean Energy Vehicles for B.C. Program, which began in December 2011. The program also offers rebates of up to $5,000 for qualifying clean energy vehicles, and LiveSmart BC offers rebates of up to $500 on qualified residential charging infrastructure.

B.C residents can take advantage of the rebates until March 31, 2013.

Check out the rebate FAQs on the Clean Energy Vehicles for B.C. site and from LiveSmart BC.

How BC Hydro is preparing for electric vehicles

In addition to supporting charging infrastructure, BC Hydro is working to ensure that the electric grid will be ready to handle the increased demand that's expected with wider adoption of electric vehicles.

It's estimated that a standard electric vehicle could draw as much as 7kW — about the same as an electric stove with all the burners and the oven on.

We've been working with vehicle manufacturers, municipalities and other partners to study electric vehicles and test them in our fleets. We'll continue to study the rate of adoption, community infrastructure and other factors to ensure the distribution network is ready to support electric vehicles.