Powertech Labs Project Engineer Sean Allan

Electric car fast-charge stations pave ‘green highway’

New site at Surrey Museum among 13 to quickly power up battery

A new fast-charging station for electric cars unveiled in Surrey Monday is the first to become operational in the Lower Mainland and forms part of the northern leg of a green highway stretching south to California.

The Surrey Museum station at Highway 10 east of 176 Street in Cloverdale is one of 13 direct current fast-charge stations being built in southern B.C. to offer electric car users more places to quickly juice up the battery.

There are already hundreds of publicly usable standard charge (Level 2) stations but the DC Fast Charge sites need only 20 to 30 minutes for an 80 per cent charge, rather than four to eight hours.

Officials say supercharge sites are key to combatting the “range anxiety” of being stranded with a dead battery that deters some people from buying all-electric cars.

“Providing a strategically-located network of 13 fast chargers throughout the province will allow more travel options for current electric vehicle owners, and will help encourage even higher electric vehicle adoption rates,” Environment Minister Mary Polak said.

Fast charge stations have already opened in Kamloops, Nanaimo, Duncan Squamish and Merritt.

Seven more – in Vancouver (Telus World of Science), Langley Township (Langley Events Centre on 200 Street), North Vancouver (Lower Lonsdale), North Vancouver District, Whistler, Saanich and Hope – are set to open by March under the $1.3-million program.

Fast-charge stations are more plentiful in U.S. states along the coast, but some are proprietary – reserved only for Tesla cars, for example – while the BC Hydro-led chargers here accommodate a wide range of electric vehicles.

More than 450 Level 2 chargers – the ones that take several hours but are considered ideal for commuters – have been installed across B.C. under the province’s $14.3 million Clean Energy Vehicle Program.

It also funds rebates of up to $5,000 for new vehicles that are run on battery electric, fuel cell electric, plug-in hybrid or compressed natural gas systems, as well as rebates of up to $500 for residential charging points.

Both rebate programs are set to expire March 31.

Like the site in Surrey, other fast-charge stations are being built in partnership with BC Hydro and local cities.

“Providing access to this technology is essential to moving consumers away from fossil fuel reliance in favour of sustainable clean energy alternatives,” Surrey Coun. Bruce Hayne said.

It’s unclear if drivers may eventually have to pay to use the fast-charge stations, but Hayne said the Surrey station will be free of charge “for the forseeable future.”

The Surrey Museum station will be the first available charge point north of the U.S. border for electric-powered American motorists heading into Canada.

There are only about 700 electric vehicles in B.C. but thousands more are expected to arrive in the years ahead, albeit at a slower pace than previously thought.

For a map of locations of available plug-in sites in Metro Vancouver see pluginbc.ca or plugshare.com.

Just Posted

Being Young: ‘Golden period,’ after exams

I should be plenty entertained over the summer.

Easter egg hunts and fun for families

More events scheduled for Sunday in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Bobcats, bears, and otters, oh my!

Critter Care Wildlife Society’s 20th anniversary gala set for next Saturday in Langley

Victoria ‘reviewing options’ for removing convicted councillors

Pitt Meadows lobbied for change after David Murray’s sex assault conviction

Cubetto teaches kids the building blocks of coding

Fraser Valley Regional Library’s wooden robot coming to Maple Ridge in May

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

VIDEO: Fan support almost deafening as Giants take Game 2 in finals

Vancouver G-Men cap comeback with thrilling third period to beat Spokane 4-2 on home ice in Langley

Most Read