The Regional District of Nanaimo has set a fee for those who will be using electric vehicle charging stations to be installed in four electoral areas that include three from District 69.
Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay), Area G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum, Englishman River), and Area H (Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay) are expected to have EV charging stations in place by spring or summer of 2022. Area B (Gabriola, DeCourcy, Mudge Islands) will also get one.
For the first year of operations, RDN staff suggested the service be free of charge as a way to encourage more people to consider electric vehicles. Last year, 10 per cent of new vehicle purchases in the province were electric vehicle. But before getting the EV chargers installed, the board still wanted RDN staff to review user-pay options.
Area B director Vanessa Craig indicated the RDN, by installing the chargers, is encouraging the development of electric vehicles but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the entire area subsidizing the services for only those who can afford to buy one at this time.
Craig made a motion, that was unanimously endorsed by area directors, that a fee of $1 per hour for two hours be applied then it goes up to $2 per hour thereafter to be collected as long as the vehicle remains connected to the charging station.
Craig also recommended after the first full year of operation, within three months, staff review the data and outline potential charges to attain full to partial service cost recovery. She also added any fees and charges implemented during the course of operation be reviewed annually to account for changes in use and costs of providing the service.
User fees for EV charging stations are now applied by other jurisdictions on Vancouver Island including Town of Comox, Cowichan Valley Regional District, District of Saanich and City of Victoria.
Staff reported that 2022 budget includes $20,236 for station operation and maintenance and if fees are applied it would lower the annual requisition needed to fund the service.
Area E director Bob Rogers appreciated Craig’s recommendations and indicated it’s time to move ahead on this project that has been stalled since 2018. He pointed out that this project has already cost the RDN significantly more than what was first envisioned.