The City of Parksville is on track to get an additional electric vehicle charging station.
At the regular council meeting on July 19, director of community planning and building, Blaine Russell, advised council of a Mid-Island Electric Vehicle Charging Station Network participation agreement.
In his presentation, Russell said the agreement has requirements imposed by the province. The requirements include maintaining the EV charging station for a minimum of five years; to install one charging station with two connectors in the vicinity of the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre; and to work with the Community Energy Association, the Regional District of Nanaimo, and other participation local governments.
He also advised council the charging station will be on a network, which means its availability can be checked from an app.
While most of council was in favour of participating in the agreement, there were concerns around the table of providing free energy to consumers at the cost of taxpayers.
Coun. Adam Fras said: “I do think that is an important part to have, especially as costs of fuel are increasing dramatically. There’s a big push towards electric vehicles, and I don’t think anybody should be getting a free ride out of it, or other people subsidizing the fuel for certain groups.”
Russell said implementing a charge to offset the costs is possible, but not necessarily for the amount of electricity used.
“Places that do charge are charging anywhere in the vicinity from a dollar an hour to two dollars per hour. Part of that reason right now is that the federal department that does weights and measures in Canada has not certified any of the charges available on the market to accurately measure the kilowatt hours being charged. Therefore, at this point in time, we can charge on a per hour basis. We can charge for time at the station,” he said.
“I also think that we’ve got to look at these costs. Giving somebody free transportation on one side, or subsidizing their transportation on one side, is not fair to the person on the other side… And a dollar an hour, I just don’t see that as being significant enough,” said Mayor Ed Mayne, further suggesting pricing be configured later in the year.