John Griffiths, president of Westridge Security, has purchased four electric vehicles for his company, adapting soon after the city installed its EV charging stations, and says they have saved him a lot of money on fuel. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Cities seeing growth in use of electric vehicles

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows consider more charging stations

Electric vehicle use is surging in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

Amanda Grochowich, Maple Ridge planner, said the growth in use at the city charging stations was up 89 per cent over 2017, and another 42 per cent last year.

“We were looking at 1,000 electric vehicle users in 2018,” she said, and that is based on the charging done at the seven city-owned charging stations in the town centre.

She recently prepared a report for council on the need to integrate EV charging stations into new subdivision and apartment building developments.

The report said the city got its first publicly available charging stations in 2013, and has been monitoring users. In 2018, there were 940 users, an increase of 42 per cent over 2017. The users did not include city fleet vehicles.

EVs are considered zero emissions, and Grochowich estimates the city avoided 32,000 kg of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 through use of electrical vehicles. Since the charging stations were established in 2013, it has stopped an estimated 81,000 kg in emissions in total, she said.

Read Also: B.C.’s electric vehicle sales gaining speed

The story is similar in Pitt Meadows, where staff have watched the city’s charging station usage from 2014-2018. Data collected from the city’s two-port charging station located at city hall shows a significant increasing trend:

• energy usage has steadily increased from 606 kWh in 2014 to 15,837 kWh in 2018;

• the number of charging sessions has gone up from 114 in 2014 to 2,258 in 2018;

• the number of unique drivers in 2014 was 40 and has risen substantially to 338 drivers in 2018.

Greenhouse gas emissions savings were at 255 kg in 2014, with a steady increase to 6,652 kg in 2018.

Carolyn Baldridge, city manager of communications, noted that Pitt Meadows will be developing an EV bylaw and policy framework as part of its 2019 budgeting.

The city is also looking into upgrading its existing EV charging station in 2020, and investigating the potential to add another charging station within the community.

The city is also undertaking a review of potential climate change initiatives, which may include further exploring the potential for more EV vehicles within the city, said Baldridge.

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