Maple Ridge wants second look at EV charging station bylaw

Council favours roughing in only, of future stations

Maple Ridge council has sent back to staff a bylaw that proposed requiring electrical vehicle charging stations for every parking stall in new condo buildings.

Instead, council wanted staff to add the option of requiring EV charging stations to be roughed in only, without actually requiring stations to have live wiring.

Council at its workshop meeting Dec. 11, had considered sending the bylaw to its regular meeting where it could have had three readings.

But most on council had questions about the effects of the bylaw.

“If our goal is to provide more affordable housing, then we ought not to legislate additional costs that will further increase housing prices, as the market starts to cool,” said Coun. Ahmed Yousef.

He cited a response to the bylaw from the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District opposing mandatory EV charging stations, citing lack of funding to do so. The school district wrote that such a requirement would, “strain our limited operating resources. It is an expense that simply cannot be justified.”

Fraser Health also opposed requiring every stall to have a EV charging station, saying that could affect affordability and instead suggesting only a portion of the stalls be electrified, while Metro Vancouver also suggested reducing the number of mandatory EV stations for units and increasing the number of EV stations in visitor parking stalls.

However, the Condominium Homeowners Association supported the proposed bylaw. The bylaw proposed that each parking stall have a Level 2 charging station, similar to that of a dryer, that could charge a vehicle so it could travel 30 kilometres in an hour of charging time.

Under the proposed bylaw, single family homes and townhouses also would have to have at least one charging station. Installing a Level 2 charging station would add $2,500, per station, to the cost of a house.

Coun. Kiersten Duncan favoured passing the bylaw, saying that if the infrastructure is required, it could enourage people to use EV vehicles. But most councillors wanted the roughing in EV stations included where wiring wasn’t included as one option.

“I wonder whether or not we’re getting ahead of the curve,” said Mayor Mike Morden.

“I think this is a little more than we need at this time,” added Coun. Judy Dueck.

Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond all require Level 2 EV charging for all residential units in condo or apartment buildings. Richmond and Burnaby have the same requirement for every parking spot for a single family home while Vancouver requires at least one space in a garage to have a Level 2 charger.

In Port Coquitlam, one parking space for every apartment or condo has to have a roughed-in system for a Level 2 charger, while Delta only requires that for 20 of units. Surrey is reviewing its requirements while Pitt Meadows isn’t mentioned in the survey.

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