South Hill BIA Introduces Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Vancouver is aiming to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. As part of this vision, city council has championed the installation of electric vehicle charging stations across the city. This week, South Hill BIA became the latest neighbourhood to get in on the act.

The new EHub installation, located in the public parking lot on the south side of 44th, just behind the West Fraser Street shops, is an initiative of the South Hill Business Improvement Association in partnership with the City of Vancouver. Executive Director of the BIA, Susan Lilholt, explains the impact the charging station will have on the area:

“Residents and business owners who live in this diverse, leafy community see that the area is attracting more and more interest, new families, and business investment,” says Lilholt.

“With a bike score of 100%, a walk score of 91%, great public transit and parking, and now the activation of our new Electric Vehicle Charging Stations this week, it’s easy to see why; South Hill has completed the transportation loop and truly become a ‘green-friendly’ commercial and residential neighbourhood.”

How it Works

Users have a choice of two different ways to charge their electric vehicles – two Level 2 (L2) stations and two DC Fast Chargers (DCFC). Pricing is posted clearly at each station alongside instructions on the charging process. Stopping to do some shopping? Plug into an L2 station, which currently just costs $2/hr for a charge.

A relatively new addition to the city, the DC Fast Chargers are just the 6th and 7th installation of this type in Vancouver. They are designed for those on a shorter stopover, providing a quicker charge. Climate Policy Analyst for the City of Vancouver, Ian Neville, elaborates on the pricing structure:

“The cost of a DC Fast charge right now in South Hill is $0.21/minute ($13/hr,)” Neville says.

Since charging for car battery electricity is fairly new for the City, the approach by planners is to set the price based on usage – if usage is too low, the City will reduce the price. Similarly, prices would rise to respond to low vacancy at the stations. “That way,’ explains Neville, “we can get the right price for the market at each site.”

“Fifteen minutes on a DCFC typically gives you about 50km of range,” states Neville. “One hour on an L2 typically gives about 30km of range. So at $0.21/min, you’re spending about $0.06/km. Compare that with a 7L/100km gasoline car, where you’re spending $0.11/km with gas at $1.50 (and of course, right now, it’s more than that). However, this varies slightly between cars, and of course, just like with fossil fueled vehicles, temperature, terrain and driving habits can all affect range. Also, as batteries become more ‘full’, the rate of charge slows down.”

And Finally…

If you’re a new electric vehicle driver, you’ll want to be respectful of your fellow green drivers. It’s polite to move your car from the chargers to a regular parking stall or spot once your vehicle is charged so that the service becomes available to others.