B.C.’s Lack of Chargers in Apartment Buildings Hurting Electric Vehicle Adoption

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According to CBC News, a report discussed at the Metro Vancouver Climate Action Committee on April 16 found that residents of British Columbia, Canada, are eager to purchase electric cars, but the lack of charging stations in condos and apartment buildings (and the hurdles you need to go through in order to install one from scratch) are proving to be a major turnoff.

According to the 2016 census, 62% of residential units in Vancouver alone are apartments. While charging an electric car at your home is as easy as running a cable to an outlet in your garage, things aren’t as simple for those living in condos and apartments.

Those residing in common-interest developments need their own charging stations in their parking spots, and the costs (and lobbying) involved are significant.

“We need to have charging essentially close to home to make it an interesting proposition for car owners”, said Werner Antweiler, a University of British Columbia business professor who successfully lobbied for and installed charging stations in his 61-unit condominium.

“And we’re still far away from getting us to that point, because the infrastructure we currently have for public charging … is still pretty sparse”, he told CBC News.

It took Antweiler and around 20 other households in his building three years to get charging stations up and running in their charging spots. Each of them had to pay between $3,000 and $6,000 CAD for the privilege, and the road was rife with inspections, studies, technical challenges, and making their case in front of their building’s strata to get changes approved.

Antweiler and his cohorts hope to recoup 50% of their costs through B.C.’s EV charger installation rebate program, which was doubled in December 2020. The program ended February 28, but is expected to be renewed.

There are 2,500+ public charging stations in British Columbia, with more popping up regularly. However, electric vehicle (EV) owners need to be able to charge their cars while they’re parked at home.

The road to getting your own charging station if you live in an apartment complex or condominium is long and arduous, and that’s significantly impeding EV adoption in the province.

This is especially bad news for B.C. as the province plans on having 100% of the vehicles on its roads be all-electric by 2040. Despite the lack of charging in apartments, B.C. recently stated its adoption of zero-emission vehicles lead all of North America in 2020.

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