ELECTRIFY PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION
2050 Vision: What does success look like?
Our community and its surrounding region are connected by an electrified mobility network.
2030 Target: What’s the critical milestone?
Half of the kilometers driven in our community are by zero emission vehicles.
The Actions: What needs to happen?
- Adopt ZEV-ready building requirements.
- Design, fund and build a public ZEV charging network.
- Incentivize zero-emission car sharing and ride-hailing.
Rationale: Why this, why now?
Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) are clean, efficient, and cost-effective. In British Columbia, where at least 94 per cent of all electricity is renewable and non-emitting, ZEVs are already a viable near zero-emission option.
Local governments can make zero-emission vehicles an easier choice for residents and businesses by investing in infrastructure, enacting supportive policies, and by engaging with companies and organizations that operate large fleets, such as car-sharing and ride-hailing providers. Local governments also deliver community outreach and education on zero-emission transportation choices.
If every British Columbia local government implemented this Big Move, by 2030 they would collectively reduce the province’s total greenhouse gas emission inventory by 1.5 to 2 million tonnes. This is the equivalent of removing half a million internal combustion vehicles from our roads. At the individual community level, this move could yield 5 to 25 per cent emissions reductions by 2030.
As of mid 2019, there were over 20,000 licensed ZEVs on the road in British Columbia. The provincial government expects adoption will grow at 30 per cent per year between today and 2030. At that point, there will be 350,000 ZEVs on the road. Here are the actions the province is pursuing to drive this adoption, and how local governments like yours can support them.
Senior government regulation and purchase incentives
In May 2019 the Province enacted the Zero Emissions Vehicle Act to follow through on the transportation commitments in its CleanBC climate plan. The legislation requires manufacturers to ensure that an steadily increasing proportion of all new light-duty cars and trucks sold or leased in British Columbia will be zero-emission vehicles. The target years, and corresponding quotas are in the table shown here. The Province of British Columbia established its Clean Energy Vehicle Program to support the transition. The program provides incentives to reduce the price of new zero-emissions vehicles and charging stations, and works to raise awareness of the benefits of such vehicles. The Government of Canada also provides purchase and lease incentives for new zero-emission vehicles, and offers tax deductions for businesses.
Provincial, Utility, and Private Sector Infrastructure Investments:
The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is steadily expanding an existing network of DC Fast Chargers, contributing to one of the largest public charging networks in Canada.
BC Hydro and Fortis BC work with local governments to deploy and operate charging networks, and a growing number of private-sector companies such as Petro-Canada and Canadian Tire now offer publicly accessible charge points, often in partnership with companies such as Flo and ChargePoint.
Adopt EV-ready building requirements
Local governments can future-proof new buildings and ensure current and future EV drivers have plenty of places to plug in by requiring sufficient charging infrastructure in new construction.
Several local governments currently have ZEV-ready building requirements for new residential buildings. Typically these require builders ensure that a certain percentage of parking spaces have, at minimum, adequate electrical capacity, a dedicated circuit, and conduit run to the stall. Some local governments also require the wiring and outlet. Regulations rarely require a complete charging station at each space.
To do this, a local government can include an electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) requirement in its Parking Bylaw or Schedule. This is enforceable and allows for flexibility and clarity. Local governments can apply a consistent percentage or number of EVSE-ready stalls in all new residential parking.
The cost of installing EVSE during construction is significantly lower than retrofitting buildings in the future.
Leading local governments are also working on similar charging requirements for commercial and industrial buildings, as well as ZEV infrastructure requirements for redevelopment.
Residential EV-ready building requirements are in place in the cities of Richmond, Burnaby, Vancouver, and Port Coquitlam.
Resource: Residential EV Charging Guide for Local Governments, City of Richmond
Design, fund, and build a public ZEV charging network
Local governments can ensure their community is connected with a robust public EV charging network and increase the availability of charging stations for on-the-go and workplace charging. While one-off investments in ZEV charging infrastructure can slightly help by increasing access to charging, a long-range E-mobility strategy will ensure your community’s infrastructure investments are well spent and meet future needs.
Produce an E-Mobility Network Strategy to ensure continued investments in EV charging. This strategy should include:
- Targets for the total number of stations of different types, with installation timelines. Include near, mid, and long-term goals.
- An assessment of:
- Current and future demand and need, and the investment and collaboration required to meet that future demand
- A strategy to assist so-called “garage orphans”—residents who lack access to home charging.
- Locations of proposed new chargers and implementation timelines.
- A community outreach and engagement strategy.
Invest in Infrastructure
- Install Level 2 public charging stations to:
- Demonstrate leadership and increase visibility of ZEVs within your community
- Provide on-the-go and workplace charging to residents
- Explore the feasibility of a DC Fast Charger to:
- Advance tourism and economic development objectives.
- Provide quick on-the-go charging to residents.
- Install Level 2 public charging stations to:
Make Your Case
The following facts may prove helpful when explaining this Big Move to constituents, staff, or other elected officials:
- Residents and business can save money by switching to zero-emission vehicles. Compared with gasoline vehicles, ZEVs cost about 60 per cent less to "fuel,” and require very little ongoing maintenance.
- Charging stations will appear on the apps that ZEV drivers use to plan their trips. Installing a station effectively “puts out the welcome mat” for these visitors—which can have spinoff local economic benefits in your community.
- Grants are available to offset the capital costs of public chargers and ongoing costs are minimal. This investment can support your community’s economic development and tourism goals.
- Zero emission vehicles produce no exhaust, which contributes to better air quality and improved resident health.
- While ZEV up-front purchase costs remain higher than conventional vehicles, they are decreasing year over year, and approaching price parity. The cost of ZEV ownership is five times lower than the cost of internal combustion vehicle ownership.
Inspiration from Near and Far
Here we share case studies of how other jurisdictions have enacted creative policies, partnerships, and programs.
1. A Public-Private Partnership in British Columbia’s Interior
Accelerate Kootenays is Canada's first community-driven, collaborative strategy to build a clean transportation network. The two-year, $1.5 million initiative created a network of zero-emission vehicle chargers, to build range confidence and attract new visitors to the region.
4. Offering Electrified Car Sharing for Everyone
The City of Los Angeles partnered with a private-sector zero-emission vehicle sharing company to offer a $1 per month Community Membership to qualifying low-income members. The membership offers a very low per-minute usage rate.
2. Requiring Chargers in New Developments
To support access to home ZEV charging, in December 2017 the City of Richmond began requiring energized zero-emission vehicle charging outlets capable of supporting a Level 2 charger in each parking space in a new building.
3. Lowering Barriers for Moderate-Income Families
The city of Burlington, Vermont, owns and operates its own electric utility. The city offers customers a $1,200 rebate on the purchase or lease of a new zero-emissions vehicle, and an additional $600 for moderate income customers.