Letter: Expand EV charging by introducing fees

Previous Duncan councils had the foresight to support EV charging

Expand EV charging by introducing fees

On June 1, Minister George Heyman revealed that in the first quarter of 2022, 17 per cent of new vehicle sales were zero emissions vehicles, up from the previous record of 13 per cent in 2021.

Previous Duncan councils had the foresight to support EV charging. As an EV driver, I know that my decisions where to travel for tourism, shopping, and other reasons is influenced by the availability of public charging. Duncan public charging has been free. I suggest it is time to have people like me start paying for municipal charging.

What? Someone wanting to have to pay for something that is free? Yes, because it is the right thing to do for taxpayers, for local businesses, and for EV drivers. Duncan will attract EV drivers to shop at the Farmers’ Market, dine at Duncan restaurants, shop in the downtown core, etc. by providing reliable, available, unshared charging. Currently there are only four, two-bay municipal “Level 2” charging stations. If two cars are charging at one station, they share the limited available current. That is insufficient.

If Duncan were to have a modest fee for charging, the revenue could be used to expand the number of Level 2 charging stations, making Duncan a more attractive location for EV drivers for shopping and tourism.

In March 2022, Tesla disclosed that the South Island has the greatest concentration of Tesla cars in North America, yet there is no Tesla SuperCharger in the 122 km between Victoria and Nanaimo. Council could bring Tesla SuperCharging to Duncan before tourism and shopping visitors are siphoned off by SuperCharging in Chemainus or Ladysmith.

It is time for council to get with the future, as previous councils have done, expanding EV charging in Duncan, by allowing us to pay and by attracting SuperCharging.

Ernie Gorrie