Local representatives from three levels of government were in Chilliwack Friday to talk about the present and the future of electric vehicles in the province.
Chilliwack MLA John Martin and Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness were at the Fraser Valley Regional District’s (FVRD) Chilliwack office alongside Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl and Mayor Sharon Gaetz, who is also FVRD board chair, to show off one of two new “fast charge” electric vehicle (EV) stations in the area.
These stations have been installed as part of an initiative supported by the provincial government, the federal government, BC Hydro and various municipal and industry stakeholders to increase EV charging infrastructure in the province.
But the event also saw Martin and Throness announce $600,000 under the Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) program to encourage and accelerate the use of EVs in public and private fleets.
British Columbia has the largest public charging infrastructure network in Canada, as well as the highest per capita adoption of electric vehicles, according to a government press release.
Since 2013, the FVRD has installed five charging stations and added two EVs to its fleet.
“Congratulations to the Fraser Valley Regional District for your commitment to clean energy vehicles and cleaner air,” Martin said. “With the installation of five public charging stations to date and the addition of electric vehicles to your fleet, you’re setting a great example. With our Fleet Champions Program, the Province is providing resources to encourage other local governments and businesses to charge up their vehicle fleets and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Throness said expanding the public infrastructure and encouraging fleets to expand is key part of the province’s CEV program.
“With 98 per cent of the electricity generated in B.C. coming from clean or renewable resources, stimulating the purchase of electric vehicles is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure British Columbia remains a climate action leader.”