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Advocacy Group Asks Burnaby for More Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

An electric vehicle charging station at Langara College in South Vancouver
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By Lindsey Lloyd

The executive director of a North Burnaby business advocacy group has requested the city install electric vehicle charging stations in the Heights neighbourhood to attract more people who drive zero-emission vehicles.

Isabel Kolic of the Burnaby Heights Merchants’ Association presented a letter Feb. 6 to the city’s sustainability committee noting the area doesn’t offer options for drivers who want to charge their cars while shopping.

Investing in community

“There has been a re-investment in our community, attractive new places to live and do business in and more diverse housing options but there is one important element missing: there are no electric vehicle charging stations anywhere,” Kolic said in her letter.

She said large-scale developments have installed charging stations in other parts of the city, including Brentwood Town Centre, which is a requirement under city policy.

Burnaby has 100 free charging stations operated by private businesses but only one public station, which is located by Deer Lake.

Resident Vicki Rasmussen also wrote to city council requesting public charging stations for the northern part of the city, including the Heights, which is located north of East Hastings Street between Boundary Road and Gamma Avenue.

“We are considering purchasing an EV but I don’t see many spots for charging in the north Burnaby area,” Rasmussen said in her Jan. 16 letter to council.

Public feedback

Lise Townsend, the city’s ecosystem planner, said the city is currently gathering public feedback on requirements for installing private and public charging stations at private developments.

But, she said, in older areas such as the Heights, there are no current plans to install stations.

“The implementation of electric vehicle chargers are still in the planning stage,” she said.

Resident Randy Rinaldo, a member of Vancouver’s Electric Vehicle Association, said private businesses in Burnaby have been pretty good about supplying EV charging stations.

“A lot of private developers are taking initiative and installing it themselves without a bylaw,” Rinaldo said. “They can see it coming.”

Added Rinaldo: “It’s attractive for businesses to have chargers. I wasn’t aware that the city of Burnaby even had a charging station.”

Rinaldo and the electric vehicle association want to create a province-wide bylaw to make it mandatory for stratas and all new homes to provide charging stations.

An Insurance Corporation of B.C. report from 2016 said Burnaby had 222 registered electric vehicles, up from 12 in 2012.




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