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Coquitlam expanding electric vehicle charging station network

Five city-owned facilities accommodating 10 parking stalls expected to be rolled out by summer 2021
Coquitlam will have a total of 13 city-owned electric vehicle charging stations after it announced five more user-pay facilities will be added in the next year.

Finding a place to charge an electric vehicle will get a lot easier for drivers in Coquitlam.

Five more user-pay charging stations serving 10 parkings stalls are expected to be added to the city’s charging network by the summer of 2021, bringing the total of city-owned stations to 13. Funded in part with a grant from the Government of Canada, the city said the new facilities will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’re very happy to partner with the federal government on a project that will significantly improve access to electric vehicle charging in Coquitlam,” said Mayor Richard Stewart. “By making it easier for Coquitlam residents to own electric vehicles, we’re also taking steps toward meeting our community emission-reduction targets.”

Coquitlam began ramping up its charging network earlier this spring, when six new user-pay stations were installed across the municipality. The city said the new stations target high-demand areas along with neighbourhoods that are underserved by electric vehicle charging infrastructure. 

The stations are now available for use at the Coquitlam Public Library Poirier branch (three stalls), the City Centre Aquatic Complex (two stalls), the Tennis Centre off Foster Avenue near Poirier Street (two stalls) and at Blue Mountain Park along King Albert Avenue (four stalls).

Each station charges $1 per hour up to a maximum of two hours to help cover the $20,000 cost for the equipment, installation and usage. The city estimates the annual operating expense for each station will be $8,000, but will bring in a net revenue of $4,000 with the dollar an hour charge. 

To cover some of the costs associated with the expansion of the charging network, Coquitlam received a $5,000 grant from the federal government’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure program. The goal of initiative is to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles to 10% of all light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040. 

“We are committed to innovation and building a clean energy future,” said Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, in a press release. “Building electric vehicle charging infrastructure is among the ways that we’re continuing to support innovative growth that will bring us closer to meeting Canada’s climate and zero-emissions transportation goals.”

BC Hydro estimates there are 18,000 electric vehicles in B.C., with another 350,000 on the way by 2030.