Burnaby now has one of the largest electric vehicle parking lots in Canada, as the city adds 100 new EV chargers to its west parking lot at city hall.
The project cost more than $1.1 million, with the city receiving $500,000 from Natural Resources Canada’s zero-emission vehicle infrastructure program. The city contributed $650,000.
The parking lot is also equipped with a large-scale solar canopy which the city says will generate emissions-free energy.
“How we move our people and our goods across this country accounts for fully 25 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. That is second only to the 26 per cent coming from Canada’s oil and gas sector,” said Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.
Three-quarters of those emissions come from two sources, said the minister: passenger cars and trucks and heavy-duty vehicles.
The city is working to eliminate emissions across all civic operations by 2040.
Mayor Mike Hurley said in order for the city to achieve the its climate targets, it needs to expand its charging capacity.
“That’s why we plan to have more than 200 new charging stalls at civic facilities over the next three years,” said Hurley.
The charging stalls will be used mostly for city fleet vehicles.
Right now, the city has nine electric vehicles out of its 600-vehicle fleet, which includes anything from small passenger vehicles to dump trucks.
Since the city doesn’t have the 100 electric vehicles necessary to fill up the parking lot, the lot will likely house both electric and gas-powered cars for the time being.
There are 28 EV chargers already installed at Burnaby’s Still Creek Works Yard.
The city anticipates replacing 60 of its light- and medium-duty vehicles with EVs within the next three years and its entire fleet of 84 golf carts within the next five to seven years, according to the city’s public affairs manager Chris Bryan.
Last year, 13 per cent of all vehicles sold in B.C. were electric. According to Wilkinson, first-quarter data from this year shows that number has risen to about 20 per cent.
Burnaby has EV charging stations for public use set up at community centres, libraries and other locations around the city. The stalls are pay-per-charge, costing $2 per hour between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and $1 per hour between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.