Kelowna may make EV charge stations mandatory for new residential developments

Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

By 2023, the City of Kelowna wants to require all parking stalls in new residential buildings to be electric vehicle ready along with 10% of new industrial, commercial and institutional parking stalls.

That’s part of a plan going to city council on Monday, Sept. 27, with the vision of making use of electric cars and bikes easy, convenient and affordable.

“Most transportation market analysts expect a continued upward trajectory in sales with falling costs of EVs (electric vehicles), growing number of models, growing network of charging infrastructure and increasing consumer confidence in EV technology,” the report says. “The trend will continue to gain momentum as the government scales up requirements to ensure all new vehicles sold in Canada are zero emission by 2035.”

Most of the greenhouse gases (53%) spewed in Kelowna come from transportation, with 90% of that from light duty vehicles, the report says.

In 2016, there were 73,000 passenger vehicles registered in Kelowna with 1,017 electric and hybrid vehicles. By last year, there were only 1,000 more passenger vehicles registered but 2,120 hybrid and electric, the report says.

Zero emission vehicles now makeup 8% to 10% of overall automobile sales in B.C.

While there’s no hard data on e-bike use in the Kelowna, the city estimates that 8% to 10% of bikes in use are electric.

The main thing cities can to do increase the use of electric vehicles is to increase charging options. Lack of charging facilities, along with the high cost of new vehicles, is one of the key reasons people don’t buy electric vehicles, the report says.

READ MORE: Federal rebate set to make electric cars more affordable see $100M go to Tesla buyers

City staff are asking for council’s approval to draft bylaws that will require 100% of all parking stalls in new residential developments to be wired for electric chargers. That includes everything from single-family to multi-family homes.

The same requirement is being requested for 10% of new commercial, industrial and industrial parking stalls.

They also want to require all new gas stations to have alternative fuelling infrastructure.

Costco, in the new 24-bay gas bar it’s building in Kelowna, has no electric charging stations.

READ MORE: New Kelowna Costco gets final council approval but not without some controversy

The city plan will also encourage the province to change its strata legislation to require strata councils to put in charging stations in multi-family buildings.

They’re also looking at things like on-street charging, increased city-owned charging stations, incentives for things like short-term e-bike rentals and education programs.

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