• Image Credit: Jeff Turner
  • Image Credit: Powertech Labs Inc
  • Image Credit: Powertech Labs Inc.
  • Image Credit: Powertech Labs Inc.
  • Image Credit: Powertech Labs Inc.
  • Image Credit: Powertech Labs Inc.
  • Image Credit: Powertech Labs Inc.
  • Image Credit: Jeff Turner
  • Image Credit: Jeff Turner
  • Image Credit: Jeff Turner
Vancouver, British Columbia, is joining the west coast network of DC fast chargers for plug-in electric vehicles. The Canadian province's electric utility company, BC Hydro, will be installing 13 DC fast chargers in the greater Vancouver area in the Fraser Valley, on Vancouver Island and in Kamloops.

Local governments will lease the fast chargers and the network will be managed by GreenLots, a San Francisco company devoted to bringing open access movement for electric vehicle charging, getting local networks ready for payments through mobile apps or credit cards. GreenLots' Sky network provides EV drivers open access without requiring prior registration, subscriptions or access fobs – which takes charging out of the clutch of proprietary networks. BC Hydro is still thinking about whether a payment will be charged to drivers using its fast charge stations.

In January of this year, British Columbia's government announced funding for the DC Fast Charger Project. The province only has about 700 EVs right now, but BC Hydro's chief technology officer Kip Morrison thinks that number will grow to 50,000 within 10 years. The fast chargers will likely offer the CHAdeMO charging protocol used by the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The locations are expected to someday add the Combined Charging Standard that comes from SAE specifications and allows for offering DC fast charging and 240 volt Level 2 charging for other EVs on the market like the Chevy Spark EV and BMW i3.

The fast charging network follows in the footsteps of Vancouver's commitment to supporting hydrogen. The city was the final destination for a 1,700 mile Hydrogen Road Tour and has four of the 12 largest fuel cell firms operating there, according to British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell. Currently, fuel cell electric vehicle numbers are pretty thin, so it makes a lot of sense for Vancouver to also embrace EVs.
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Electric vehicle fast chargers open for business

SURREY – With the official opening of an electric vehicle fast-charging station at the Surrey Museum today, B.C. is well on its way to becoming the first province in Canada to provide electric vehicle drivers with a network of 13 direct current (DC) fast-charging stations.

In addition to the Surrey station, fast-charging stations in Kamloops, Nanaimo, Duncan, Squamish and Merritt are now operational. The seven remaining stations are scheduled to be online by March 31, 2014.

"It's encouraging to see such widespread interest among communities across the province in hosting and operating these electric vehicle fast chargers," said Environment Minister Mary Polak. "Providing a strategically located network of fast chargers on major routes, including the Highway 1 and Highway 99 corridors, will allow more travel options for many current electric vehicle owners and will help make these vehicles an even more attractive choice for those people who haven't considered them before."

DC fast chargers require only 20 to 30 minutes for an 80 per cent charge and are necessary to give electric vehicle owners the confidence to travel between communities. On the other hand, Level 2 charging stations (240-volt) require four to eight hours to reach full charge, which is usually adequate for commuters, but can hamper electric vehicle mobility between communities, especially for pure battery electric vehicle owners.

The $1.3-million fast-charging stations program is being managed by BC Hydro with funding coming from the Province's previously announced $14.3-million Clean Energy Vehicle Program. BC Hydro will continue to own the 13 DC fast chargers, while the participating communities will provide access to municipal land to host and operate the stations.

The Clean Energy Vehicle Program includes the Community Charging Infrastructure Fund, the CEVforBC™ point-of-sale incentive program, upgrades to hydrogen fuelling infrastructure and LiveSmart BC rebate programs for residential charging infrastructure.

The installation of these stations also marks another significant milestone for the Clean Energy Vehicle Program – completing the B.C. portion of the West Coast Green Highway, a commitment made by Premier Christy Clark under the Pacific Coast Collaborative (Washington State, Oregon, California and B.C.) to ensure electric vehicle fast charging is deployed along the Highway 99/I-5 corridor. Eventually, electric vehicle owners will be able to drive from San Diego to Whistler, knowing they can charge their vehicles along the way.

Learn More:
Clean Energy Vehicle Program: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cas/mitigation/cev.html
Pacific Coast Collaborative: www.pacificcoastcollaborative.org

Electric vehicle fast chargers open for business

The following 13 communities have agreed to host fast-charging stations, and are actively working with BC Hydro:

· Whistler - Conference Centre (4010 Whistler Way)
· Squamish - Stan Clarke Park (2nd Ave., across from Municipal Hall)
· Surrey - Surrey Museum (17710 - 56A Ave.)
· Township of Langley - Langley Events Centre (7888 - 200th St.)
· Saanich - Uptown Shopping Centre
· Merritt - Merritt Tourism/Visitor Info Booth (2202 Voght St.)
· Hope - exact location to be determined
· Cowichan Valley Regional District (Duncan) - Island Savings Centre (2687 James St.)
· Nanaimo - Vancouver Island Conference Centre (101 Gordon St.)
· City of North Vancouver - Lower Lonsdale
· City of Vancouver - Telus World of Science (1455 Quebec St.)
· Kamloops - Tournament Capital Centre (910 McGill Rd.)
· District of North Vancouver - exact location to be determined


Clean Energy Vehicle Program

· The British Columbia government's $14.3-million Clean Energy Vehicle Program – www.env.gov.bc.ca/cas/mitigation/cev.html – was announced on Nov. 5, 2011. It is a comprehensive program designed to provide British Columbians with a variety of clean and green choices for their transportation needs.

· There are three main program areas under the Clean Energy Vehicle Program:

o Clean Energy Vehicles for British Columbia (CEVforBC™) point-of-sale incentives.

o LiveSmart BC Residential Charging Point Rebate Program.

o CEV Infrastructure Deployment Program.

· CEVforBC™ – www.cevforbc.ca – provides B.C. residents with up to $5,000 off the pre-tax sticker price for qualifying new battery electric, fuel-cell electric, plug-in hybrid electric and dedicated compressed natural gas vehicles. (Currently 20 models of CEVs are eligible.) Originally set to end on March 31, 2013, the program has been extended for another year until March 31, 2014. The New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia manages, administers and promotes the program on behalf of the Province.

· The LiveSmart BC Residential Charging Point Rebate Program – www.livesmartbc.ca/incentives/transportation/CEV-rebates.html#residential – provides rebates of up to $500 per unit for residential electric charging stations that meet identified eligibility requirements. Originally set to end on March 31, 2013, the program has been extended for another year until March 31, 2014.

· The CEV Infrastructure Deployment Program committed $6.5 million in infrastructure funding for electric vehicle charging points and upgrading existing hydrogen fuelling stations. As part of this funding, 452 Level 2 (240-volt) electric vehicle charging stations will be installed throughout the province through the Community Charging Infrastructure Fund (CCI Fund). Locations can be viewed at: www.pluginbc.ca

The fund is administered by the Fraser Basin Council. Seventeen Level 2 charging stations have been installed as part of the Charge and Go Vancouver project. Currently, six of 13 direct current (DC) fast-charging stations have been deployed around the province at strategic locations along major routes, including the Highway 1 and Highway 99 corridors, creating a network of fast-charging opportunities for electric vehicles.

· A new Building Owners and Managers Association Clean Connect program funded by the Province, targeting the installation of 125 Level 2 charging stations by March 31, 2014 in multi-unit residential buildings (MURB) is fully subscribed. An additional 14 Level 2 charging stations were installed through the LiveSmart BC MURB program.

· Clean Energy Vehicle Program achievements as of Oct. 25, 2013, (unless otherwise noted) include:

o 668 vehicles purchased with CEVforBC™ incentives (as of Sept. 30, 2013).

o 210 residential charging point rebates have been issued.

o Of the 452 Level 2 charging stations approved through the CCI Fund, 438 have been installed, with the remaining 14 to be installed by Nov. 15, 2013.

o 17 Level 2 charging stations have been installed by the Charge and Go Vancouver project (as of July 31, 2013).

o 14 Level 2 charging stations were installed through the LiveSmart BC MURB program at multi-unit residential buildings.

o 125 Level 2 charging stations will be installed at MURBs by March 31, 2014, through the Building Owners and Managers Association Clean Connect Program.

o 13 direct current (DC) fast-charging stations are being strategically located along major routes, including the Highway 1 and Highway 99 corridors. Of the 13 stations, six are fully operational (Nanaimo, Duncan, Kamloops, Surrey, Squamish, Merritt), and the remaining seven (Whistler, Township of Langley, Saanich, Hope, City of North Vancouver, Vancouver, District of North Vancouver) are in the process of site design and construction.

o $600,000 in funding for design, research and curriculum development on clean energy vehicles and infrastructure provided to a range of post-secondary institutions in B.C., BC Hydro, the Condominium Homeowners Association of BC, and the Building Owners and Managers Association of BC.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      BC Hydro -- the name means they get their power from hydroelectric dams like much of the Pacific Northwest; they probably have next to nothing to do with hydrogen.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now, if only I had a quick charging port on my 2011 Leaf. Then I'd... still find it too slow for long-distance travel. :-) It would be closer to being viable, but really, you have to have a lot of patience to go long distance in a Leaf. BC Hydro's power generation is roughly 90% hydroelectric. My Leaf is pretty much powered by rain, and we get enough of that. http://www.bchydro.com/energy-in-bc/our_system/generation/electric_generation.html http://www.bchydro.com/energy-in-bc/our_system/generation/thermal_generation.html
      • 1 Year Ago
      The design of these car chargers is ridiculous. Why do they make them to look like fuel pumps? You should not have to touch anything or get out of your vehicle to charge your battery. The connection could be made by dead-simple robotics from 15 years ago.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, this article is behind the times. This is something that was in the local news about a year ago: http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/laying+groundwork+electric+surge+with+charging+stations/7907129/story.html The difference is that the "projected completion date of March 2013" has panned out to "um, coming real soon now!" At least, they've completed about 5 of the 13 DCQC stations so far, but 2013 is almost done and they're not at not even at the halfway mark. That said, we're looking forward to being able to take our Leaf to the Okanagan, which... *might* be possible if we can get it over the Coquihala pass, a feat that is dubious at best. These things have been planned out not with the range of the current crop of cars in mind, but which town halls are willing to put them in their parking lots and other political factors. On the other hand, years from now when my kids are learning about such things in school, we can do the gold rush trail just like the prospectors did it. 60 miles at a time. ;)
      • 1 Year Ago
      http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/whatever-happened-to-the-hydrogen-highway/Content?oid=2283903 "In Canada, the official pilot project ran from 2005 to March 2011. Five hydrogen fuelling stations were built: the one in Whistler, one at the University of British Columbia (where there is a fuel cell research facility), one in Burnaby, one in North Vancouver, and one in Victoria. The latter two — Victoria and North Van — were later picked up and moved to Surrey. But aside from Whistler they must be some of the least busy fuelling stations in the world. During the pilot project there were only about five hydrogen fuel cell Ford Focus cars trawling around the Vancouver area, leased out to companies like BC Hydro, plus four hydrogen-powered pickup trucks and five tourist shuttle buses. Today Lui is only aware of three leased Ford fuel cell cars still pounding the pavement in Surrey. The most successful ongoing project has been the fleet of 20 hydrogen buses in Whistler — the largest hydrogen bus fleet in the world. There are no official plans to build any more fuelling stations."
      • 1 Year Ago
      Many forward-thinking governments are taking steps to support both BEVs and FCVs. :)
      • 1 Year Ago
      BC is part of the west coast coalition with California, Oregon, and Washington working to reduce carbon emissions. Glad to see them working hard to support EVs.
      • 1 Year Ago
      If EMW does a good chademo charger they could change the world quite a bit.
      • 1 Year Ago
      BC Hydro -- the name probably relates to generating their electricity by hydroelectric dams, as most of the Pacific Northwest does. They probably have little to do with hydrogen!
        Nick Kordich
        • 1 Year Ago
        BC Hydro has two subsidiaries involved with fuel cell development: http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/industry/industry-directory/b/bc-hydro I think the key is they want to be your next 'oil company' whether you drive electric or hydrogen.
        • 1 Year Ago
        I forgot to quote the funniest part of that article: " Whistler's current hydrogen is actually trucked in from Quebec." Quebec. That would be at least 5000 km (3000 miles) away. Yeah. Makes sense.
          Nick Kordich
          • 1 Year Ago
          There's no hydrogene like Quebec hydrogene It's the best hydrogene in all the land! The other hydrogene is the "bullsh!t hydrogene" Drive on it for a day, you'll understand. You understand? You understand. :)
      • 1 Year Ago
      ... Fast charge require 30 min... Line up expected...
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