Ten New Electric Vehicle Charging Locations for Maple Ridge
September 18, 2012 / 1:30 PM
September 12, 2012, the BC Ministry of Environment announced that 454 new charging locations will be built in BC as part of the $2.7 Million Community Charging Infrastructure Fund which was announced in April of this year. Ten of these new charging stations will be located in Maple Ridge.
"One of the cornerstones of the Maple Ridge community vision is carbon neutrality and the use of leading edge environmental technologies. There are already a number of charging stations in place in our community that have been built as part of the upgrades to Fire Hall #1 and the new Maple Ridge Community Animal Shelter built in partnership with the BC SPCA. These new locations, eight that will be built and managed by the District and two by Fraser Health at Ridge Meadows Hospital, will make our community a leader in providing infrastructure that facilitates citizens to switch to electric vehicles," said Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin.
He continued, "Council was treated to a display of alternate vehicle technology at the District Operations Centre in May 2012 as part of 'Public Works Week.' There were a number of hybrid and fully electric vehicles as well as representatives of the BC Hydro Power Smart team. District Staff displayed the electric truck conversion that was completed in 2011 by Works Yard Staff and has been in use in our community for over a year. Maple Ridge has been a leader in alternate fuel technology with 28 hybrid vehicles in our fleet in addition to the electric truck. It's good for the environment, and with soaring fuel costs, it's been a solid business decision to control costs."
Maple Ridge will also participate with other municipalities in the Metro Vancouver Program that promotes partnerships with the business community to further expand the electric vehicle charging station network. The Metro Vancouver partnership program was announced in late August, and falls under the overall Community Charging Infrastructure Fund program.
Russ Carmichael, Director of Engineering Operations, said, "Eight charging connections will be deployed at four locations in Maple Ridge, including the District of Maple Ridge Operations Centre, Dewdney Trunk Road in front of Municipal Hall, 224 Street in the Town Centre and multiple outlets in the underground parking facility that serves the Leisure Centre, the Maple Ridge Business Centre, and the Maple Ridge Arts Centre Theatre. These 'level two' charging stations are the type that allows electric vehicles to recharge more quickly versus longer charging times from traditional power outlets." He added, "The goal is to have the stations operational by March 2013, so the engineering and design work will move very quickly to meet that timeline. Exact locations and details of how the stations can be used will be available early in 2013."
The District is working on partnerships with local businesses to further expand locations for citizens to charge their vehicles. Citizens who own electric vehicles have commented that the availability of charging locations influences where they choose to go for recreation and shopping. "A local doctor who owns a Nissan Leaf talked to staff about how charging infrastructure in places like Granville Island and other areas of the Lower Mainland influence his choices when planning a family shopping trip or night out. Part of the decision to place charging stations in the Maple Ridge Town Centre, both in the underground parking and on surface streets is to ensure that our business community can attract customers who are making the transition to hybrid and electric vehicles," noted Laura Benson, Manager of Sustainability and Corporate Planning. She added, "Just as our community is dotted with gas stations, over time we will start to see charging locations become part of the landscape. This will remove barriers to the adoption of fully electric vehicle technology. As the infrastructure continues to become more widely available, Maple Ridge Council will continue to develop and refine policies around the deployment of this technology in our community and determine appropriate funding models."
Maple Ridge has 28 hybrid vehicles and one electric truck as part of the fleet. The hybrids include both cars and sports utility vehicles that are used on a daily basis by District of Maple Ridge staff. In addition, the Parks & Facilities Department has recently added an electric 'gator' style vehicle for use by the landscaping team in the Town Centre. The District's first fully electric vehicle, built and introduced by staff in early 2011, is part of a longer term research project to measure the operational and maintenance costs and capabilities of electric vehicle technology.
For further information, please contact:
Director of Engineering Operations