Sidney plans to strengthen requirements for EV charging with an update to its off-street parking and loading bylaw (Black Press Media File)

Sidney plans to strengthen EV charging requirements

Proposed update expected for spring 2020

Sidney staff are preparing additional measures that promise to improve electric vehicle charging.

Corey Newcomb, Sidney’s senior manager for long range planning, said staff are updating the municipality’s off-street parking and loading bylaw. It currently requires infrastructure that “can support the installation of an electric vehicle charging station” to serve all parking spaces in all new multi-family, commercial and industrial buildings following an update in 2017.

Newcomb said the proposed update underway since last fall will strengthen requirements for EV charging.

Newcomb said Sidney’s current policy around charging reflected the time of its writing, when EV usage was rising but not yet widespread.

READ MORE: Sidney won’t add fifth public charging station for now

“However, recognizing the constantly evolving landscape in this area, continuing market interest in [EVs] and ongoing provincial support of [EVs] through the CleanBC plan and recent provincial budget, staff have been working on a further update to the bylaw since last fall that will implement improved requirements for EV charging,” he said.

Newcomb made these comments after a survey prepared by the Victoria Electric Vehicle Association and Plug-in Richmond ranked Sidney in the fourth and last category of BC communities that either possess “none or exceptionally low” infrastructure requirements for electric vehicles. Central Saanich and North Saanich also found themselves in the same category.

Newcomb said this recent ranking only confirmed for staff that this remains a fast-evolving field in preparing the update, which he anticipates will be before council this spring.

RELATED: Saanich leads Vancouver Island and B.C. in promoting charging for electric vehicles

“[Sidney] certainly recognizes the importance of requiring electric vehicle charging in new developments, particularly in strata buildings where retrofitting the building can be difficult and costly,” he said, adding that the update will keep the municipality “a leader in this important emerging area.”

He added staff have also responded to the two organizations that compiled the rankings. “[We] have had some constructive dialogue with them on current best practices that will assist in the bylaw drafting process,” said Newcomb.

Both organizations encouraged municipalities to follow the best practices of Saanich, the only surveyed community to occupy the ranking’s top tier.

Newcomb said Sidney has been a leader in EV charging, being one of the first municipalities in the region to install municipal EV charging stations throughout the community beginning in 2013 before changing its off-street parking and loading bylaw in 2017. Sidney has also recently worked with BC Hydro to install two DC Fast Chargers in the municipality’s own parking lot beside the visitor’s centre.


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