We believe most people like to think they care deeply about the environment and will make ‘green’ choices when they can.
When it comes to installing electric vehicle charging stations, the Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is administering $2.4 million in funding with the goal of installing more than 550 public charging stations across BC. According to SLRD Board Chair Susie Gimse, the FBC has already indicated it would like to see charging stations established along the Sea-to-Sky corridor.
Money coming from the fund would cover 75 per cent of the cost of Level 2 charging stations, to a maximum of $4,000 while applicants, including municipalities, would be required to pick up the remainder of the bill. The FBC says the cost of purchasing and installing Level 2 stations ranges from $2,000 to $8,000.
It all sounds good in theory, particularly when one considers that battery-powered electric vehicles cost as little as $300 per year in electricity bills, compared to up to $1,500 per year for fuel costs.
But does it work in practice?
The issue was discussed at District of Lillooet Council’s June 4 meeting, with Councillor Anderson suggesting Lillooet should apply for funding for one of the stations. Mayor Bontron replied with a ‘hold your horses/horsepower’ response to the effect that council needs to know more about the concept and what it might cost.
Should Lillooet’s taxpayers be contributing anything towards the cost of charging stations for vehicles that typically cost at least $40,000 and are still novelties on our highways? Should they, in effect, be subsidizing the transportation costs of those who can afford $40,000 electric vehicles? We don’t think so.
By all means, keep the technology in mind for future planning and development. Down the road, pardon the pun, consider where a charging station should be located. We suggest it should be in the downtown core to encourage visitors to drive up the hill to see more of what our community has to offer.
For now though, let the market, through supply and demand, dictate when charging stations will be established.