Upcoming installations to encourage electrical vehicle travel into the region
COURTENAY, 12 April 2023 – A new project led by the Regional District of Mount Waddington will install 18 new Electrical Vehicle charging stations in publicly accessible areas and adjacent to suitable electrical infrastructure, with funding support from Island Coastal Economic Trust’s Capital and Innovation Program.
The initiative comes in response to the growing number of electric vehicles on Vancouver Island (up from just over 1,100 in 2016 to over 7,300 in 2020), the rising cost of fuel, and the heightened understanding of the damage caused by greenhouse gas emissions. The lack of charging stations restricts the viability of electrical vehicles for people who live in the community, as well as tourists who visit. Providing the stations will enable communities to draw regional travellers driving electrical vehicles.
“Anything less than a robust and fully distributed electric recharging network will act as a huge deterrent for locals looking to switch to EVs (electric vehicles) and limit the number of visitors driving electric cars who want to visit our area,” says Andrew Hory, Chair for the Regional District of Mount Waddington. “This project is a crucial next step as we look towards supporting clean energy and keeping in lockstep with changing consumer demands and travel preferences.”
The project, estimated at a total cost of nearly half a million dollars, will offer participating local governments and First Nations an opportunity to place EV charging stations in their jurisdictions at no cost. The lifespan of the charging stations to be installed is 14 years and the emissions reduction for each gasoline vehicle replaced by battery-operated is estimated, by the Province of B.C., at four tonnes a year. The projects’ EV station suppliers will also ensure that the 18 new dual wall-mounted units will be networked — offering an impressive cost recovery option to local governments for the cost of electricity (as they are generally 50% less costly than free-standing pedestal units).
“This project offers a cost-effective solution, while also showcasing our Regional District’s commitment to a green economy,” says Andrew. “We will be truly able to encourage a virtuous circle in our area where we reassure those in EVs that they will not be stranded, while also increasing the appeal of the region to the public wishing to travel here.”
The project aligns with other District of Mount Waddington commitments, including the Home-Based Knowledge Worker Attraction Campaign, which seeks to encourage remote workers, independent agents, or other professionals who have the opportunity to work anywhere, to relocate to the North Island. The EV charging stations project also addresses key policy priorities for the Federal, Provincial, and Regional Governments, making it also an exemplary initiative extending well beyond the District.
“This project helps showcase the region as a sustainable destination for tourism and reinforces the North Island Wild Pledge for sustainable tourism,” says Aaron Stone, Island Coastal Economic Trust Board Chair. “We admire the District’s initiative and forward-thinking resolution as they set an example for us all.”
“Electric vehicle chargers expand the opportunities for green travel across the North Island, and are positive additions for our residents and visitors alike,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for the North Island. “Investments in technology and infrastructure, like these new EV chargers, help us achieve our government’s Clean BC targets while connecting the North Island.”
The Electrical Vehicle Charging Network project is supported through the Innovation Support funding stream of the Capital and Innovation Program. The Trust will contribute $75,000 to a total project budget of $482,318. The project is expected to get underway in late 2023/24.
About Island Coastal Economic Trust
Founded by the Province of British Columbia in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust works to build a sustainable and resilient coastal economy in reciprocal relationships with First Nations, municipalities, and regional districts across Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and islands and inlets from the Salish Sea to Cape Caution. Serving over half a million residents, we partner with communities in the development and financing of their economic infrastructure and diversification efforts through our unique structure that is led by, and accountable to, communities.
Since our inception, Island Coastal Economic Trust has approved more than $59 million to economic development initiatives that have attracted over $322 million in new investment to our region. These investments have created over 2,750 permanent jobs, and countless positive impacts, across the coast.
Island Coastal Economic Trust acknowledges that we work for communities across the ancestral and unceded territories of the Kwak̓wala, Nuučaan̓uɫ, Éy7á7juuthem, Ligwilda’xw, Pəntl’áč, shíshálh, Hul’q’umi’num’, diitiidʔaatx̣, SENĆOŦEN, Lekwungen, and T’Sou-ke speaking peoples.
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Manager Economic Development
Regional District of Mount Waddington