Electric vehicle ownership in Langley is becoming more common, and finding a place to charge the batteries is about to become easier.
Both the City and Township of Langley will benefit from a grant which Metro Vancouver has received to develop a network of charging stations for electric vehicles.
Earlier this year, the regional authority applied for a grant under the provincial government’s Community Charging Infrastructure Fund, with the goal of identifying 75 to 150 highly-visible sites where electric vehicle chargers could be located.
“Our goal is to facilitate the creation of a network of charging stations, installed at places like malls, theatres and tourism destinations,” said Metro Van chairman Greg Moore.
Making charging stations visible and accessible will build confidence in electric vehicles and promote clean transport and clean air, he added.
The grant means that the Township, the City and a dozen other Metro municipalities can build the charging stations, with funding from the private sector as well.
The Township will install six new electric vehicle charging stations at five different locations. These include two at the Civic Facility (one for the public and one for staff/fleets), and one at the municipal operations centre for fleet vehicles.
Others for the public will be located at the Blair Recreation Centre, Walnut Grove Recreation Centre, and one at the Langley Events Centre.
In all, 570 stations will be built in B.C. by March, 2013.
“This is something that the Township sees as supporting our official community plan to foster alternative energy use and also objectives within our sustainability charter,” Ryan Schmidt, the Township’s environmental co-ordinator said earlier this month.
“We see this as an important step in the transition away from fossil fuel based energy for transportation.”
The charging stations will all be located near the main entrances to the facilities; parking stalls will be dedicated to plug-in electric vehicles. Only one vehicle can be charged at a time, taking between six and eight hours for a full charge if the battery is drained.
Langley City does not know how many charging stations the funding will allow and, said CAO Francis Cheung, no decision has been made on where they will be located.
Among the potential sites, he said, are the Douglas Recreation Centre, City Hall, fire hall and the new Timms Centre. Cheung said that the City is considering the business case for buying electric vehicles to replace existing staff cars.
According to the Community Energy Association, by 2020 there will be 10,000 to 20,000 plug-in electric vehicles across Metro Vancouver, and 130,000 a decade later.
Vancouver and Surrey already have stations that are fully operational.