A dozen new fast-charging sites for electric vehicles have been completed on B.C. highways, with more on the way this summer.
The direct current fast-charge stations can power up an electric vehicle in 30 minutes. Most of B.C.’s existing 1,700 charging facilities are slower level-two stations that make longer distances less practical. B.C. now has about 20,000 electric vehicles on the road, and with federal and provincial subsidies for purchase, the province projects that will grow to 350,000 by 2030.
In June, the province reduced its point-of-sale rebate for buying a new zero-emission vehicle from $5,000 to $3,000 ($1,500 for shorter-range plug-in hybrids) after the federal government introduced its own $5,000 rebate in May.
New fast-charge stations are completed at Loon Lake rest area between Merritt and Kelowna on Highway 97C, Anarchist rest area on Highway 3 east of Osoyoos, and three stations on Highway 5, between Kamloops and Barriere, Barriere and Clearwater and Clearwater to Avola.
Other stations ready for use are on Highway 95, one between Canal Flats and Cranbrook and the other between Radium Hot Springs and Golden. Kootenay Bay ferry landing on Highway 3A also has a new station, as does the Hope Slide rest area on Highway 3 east of Hope.
On Vancouver Island, new fast-charge stations are in service at Taylor River rest area between Port Alberni and Tofino, Buckley Bay rest area between Qualicum Beach and Courtenay, and at Port Renfrew Community Centre.
Scheduled for completion this summer are:
• Slim Creek rest area: Highway 16, 120 km east of Prince George
• Boulder Creek rest area: Highway 16, 50 km west of Hazelton
• Australian rest area: Highway 97, 36 km south of Quesnel
• Kidd Creek rest area: Highway 3, 21 km east of Creston
• 100 Mile House Info Centre on Highway 97
• Mount Robson Visitor Centre on Highway 16
• Woss: Highway 19, Vancouver Island.
The transportation ministry has issued an invitation to bid for construction of six more fast-charge sites, mostly along Highway 16 and 97.