The Vancouver City Council has approved new regulations that would require EV charging infrastructure be installed in all new non-residential buildings in an effort to expand access to the ever-growing population of EV drivers.
Vancouver City’s Climate Emergency Action Plan seeks to reduce carbon pollution by 50% and ensure that 50% of all kilometres driven on Vancouver roads are by zero emissions vehicles. The newly approved regulations call for EV charging infrastructure to be installed in 45% of parking stalls in most types of new non-residential buildings.
Additionally, 100% of new car-share stalls and 100% of parking stalls in new hotels must also have EV charging infrastructure.
Vancouver City expects the new regulations will have minimal increase on new construction costs while significantly reducing or eliminating future costs of retrofitting buildings for EV charging infrastructure.
The new regulations also compliment existing policies that require EV-ready stalls be installed in all new residential construction, as well as the City’s ongoing efforts to expand its public charging networks and EV charging points in multi-family rental buildings.
The city is also moving to focus on expanding its public charging network for neighbourhoods with less access to home charging so as to support accessible charging for those in the community that need it most.
All this focus on expanding EV charging infrastructure is unlikely to go to waste in Vancouver, either, considering that 10% of all new vehicles purchased in British Columbia in 2020 were EVs – the highest rate of EV adoption of any jurisdiction in North America.
Moreover, the Vancouver City Council estimates that between 12% and 17% of all new vehicles in the city are EVs – due in large part to the City’s focus on improving infrastructure policy, and incentives provided by all levels of government.
Vancouver’s efforts are also backed by Canada’s federal mandate that 100% of vehicle sales are zero emissions by 2035 – part of Canada’s larger effort to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.