News

PoCo pilot may pave way for more charging stations

Nobody is happier about Vancity Credit Union’s decision to install an electric vehicle charging station at its Shaughnessy Street branch than Pat Shellard, an investment advisor with the company. He drives a Nissan LEAF electric vehicle that can take about four to five hours to completely recharge (a charge will generally last up to 160 km). He has owned the vehicle for 16 months and told The Tri-City News he has driven about 17,000 km.  - GARY MCKENNA/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Nobody is happier about Vancity Credit Union’s decision to install an electric vehicle charging station at its Shaughnessy Street branch than Pat Shellard, an investment advisor with the company. He drives a Nissan LEAF electric vehicle that can take about four to five hours to completely recharge (a charge will generally last up to 160 km). He has owned the vehicle for 16 months and told The Tri-City News he has driven about 17,000 km.
— image credit: GARY MCKENNA/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

Electric vehicle owners in Port Coquitlam will now have a place to charge up their cars besides their own homes.

Out of 35 sites identified for potential electric vehicle charging stations in the municipality, only Vancity Credit Union’s Shaughnessy Street branch took advantage of a provincial grant program, which paid up to $4,000 to build the infrastructure.

Maureen Curaton, Vancity’s green business manager, said the company sees the PoCo charging station as a pilot project that could eventually lead to an expansion of the program to other branches.

“We are going to measure the usage and see if this is something that is helpful,” she said. “If it is, we are certainly interested in putting in more at our branches.”

Curaton said the company, which already has an electric vehicle charging station at its Kitsilano branch, is also considering adding the equipment at its Vancouver head office, where more than 700 employees work.

Last year, Metro Vancouver was given a $75,000 grant from the province to study and identify potential locations for electric vehicle charges stations across the Lower Mainland; 75 sites were located and three have been built in PoCo, although two are located at car dealership service centres and are not open to the public.

Andrew Wood, PoCo’s director of engineering, said despite the low take-up rate with the recent grant program, the city anticipates more businesses will follow Vancity’s lead.

“There is going to be growing interest,” he said. “We are seeing some of that interest out there.”

Wood added that while the city hasn’t ruled out the possibility of installing its own electric vehicle charging stations in the future, for now, it is looking to local businesses to take the lead. “Wait-and-see is where we are at,” he said. “The market will probably dictate some of those amenities.”

A PoCo city staff report identified one reason many businesses may not have been able to take advantage of the recent provincial grant program. The compressed time frame between the release of the consultant’s report in October 2012 and the deadline for construction in March 2013 did not give many businesses enough time to study the issue and install a charging station.

“A longer time frame would have allowed for a more detailed consultation process with the potential sites,” the report said.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

RCMP apprehend suspects following violent crime spree
 
Grants still available for science, technology projects in School District 43
 
COQUITLAM POLITICS: Farming wasn’t for Lou Sekora — B.C. & politics were
Q&A: Ex-transportation ministers criticize referendum, discuss TransLink
 
Two police officers hospitalized after being rammed by stolen truck in Surrey
 
Craft Crawl a seasonal shopping adventure
Luck eyes 2018 election
 
Stevens solo councillor to return
 
Rebuilding relationships top task for new mayor

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.