Electric cars in good company

Inaugural plug-in for electric cars at the Victoria International Airport.

Vice-President of Operations and Development at the Victoria International Airport James Bogusz

The Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) now has three new charging stations. Several members of the electric car group were there with their electric cars along with members of the Airport Authority for the inaugural plug-in.

Jim Hindson, secretary treasurer from the Victoria EV Club approached the VAA encouraging them to put in the charging stations and advising and helping them with the set up and signage required. The project was initiated last year, with the physical stations installed early this year and the electrical conduit put in around Christmas time.

“This is a one hundred thousand dollar project that we did and it wasn’t just about the stations that you see here. We’ve actually placed a lot of electrical infrastructure to allow us to really grow this program out,” said Vice-President of Operations and Development with VAA, James Bogusz.

He added they will be monitoring demand to see how many people are using the stations over the first year, and decide if they will add more stations in the future.

“So a big part of the project was laying all the cable into the ground, repairing the pavement…” He said.

The inaugural charge which took place March 11 in the short term parking lot at the VAA, saw three new Sun Country Level 2 charging stations, each with two connections for vehicles, which allows up to six electric vehicles total to be charged.

There are four dedicated charging spots in the long term parking lot and two in the short term, with no additional fees to use stations outside of the standard parking rates charged for the lot. The long term parking is at $15 a day and short-term at only $1 (for up to two hours).

Bogusz said they are seeing many more electric cars at the airport than they did three to four years ago, so the time came to offer the service. He added that VAA was the third airport in North America to establish what they call a carbon accreditation program done through an organization called Airports Council International. It instilled in the Authority ways to offer carbon reduced ways of travelling.

“So whether it be facilities like electric car charging stations, whether it be reducing your power consumption in the terminal building … part of the airport’s mandate is to be very environmentally responsible,” said Bogusz.

Bogusz said they have opportunities to add more stations as they grow their needs, and in fact, the VAA will add more than 300 new stalls in the long term parking lot as part of their expansion. Tendering will be happening over the late spring to early summer with paving taking place late summer to early fall. The expected target date for completion is before Thanksgiving of this year.

“So part of our parking expansion of course is to always be sensitive and mindful as to what the demands of the passengers are.”