Despite an increase in the number of hybrids and electric vehicles, Sidney staff say the Town has not received any formal complaints about over usage at electric vehicle (EV) stations.
The Peninsula News Review, however, did receive one complaint from one Tesla driver, who has found it difficult to charge her vehicle.
Sidney operates four Level 2 public charging stations at its town hall, Parking Lot F (Third and Bevan), Tulista Park and Iroquois Park. BC Hydro also operates a fast-charging Level 3 station at Bevan and Seventh.
Bruce, DeMaere, Sidney’s manager of engineering, said it is not clear how many people use the stations. “[However], it appears the EV stations are well used,” he said. He added that the municipality does not keep records for EV stations on private property.
DeMaere said the use of EV stations operated by the municipality are subject to the parking restrictions at the particular site, or as signed. For the charging station at Parking Lot F, the maximum is three hours, he said. The maximum for the charging station at Town Hall is two hours, while Tulista Park and Iroquois Park have no restrictions, he added.
DeMaere said Sidney has contracted Robbins Parking to enforce parking regulations, including parking regulations at EV stations. “The Town also responds to complaints to enforce parking regulations,” he said.
So far, it has received none, he said.
DeMaere said Sidney has no current plans to change its network of EV stations. “[However], the Town will be reviewing its operations of EV stations in the near future,” he said.
It is not clear when that review would take place, he added. “Council is, however, currently in the process of discussing its strategic priorities for 2020 and beyond and this may or may not be one of the key priorities that council will be focusing on,” he said.
DeMaere said it not for staff to speculate whether the municipality would changes usage rules. “That’s a political question for mayor and council,” he said.
Sidney, along with the rest of the Saanich Peninsula, has seen a significant increase in the number of vehicles that require electric charging. According to ICBC, Sidney was home to fewer than five full-electric vehicles and 73 hybrids in 2013. By 2017, the respective numbers have risen to 31 and 100. Looking elsewhere on the Saanich Peninsula, North Saanich recorded 10 full electric vehicles and 140 hybrids in 2013. By 2017, the numbers had respectively risen to 91 and 200. Central Saanich recorded seven full electric vehicles and 140 hybrids. By 2017, the numbers had respectively risen to 75 and 210.
This said, it is important to keep things in perspective.
Of the 2.914 million registered vehicles in British Columbia in 2013, ICBC categorized 970 as full electric vehicles and 29,000 as hybrids. By 2017, of the 3.243 million registered vehicles, ICBC categorized 8,500 as full electric vehicles and 45,000 as hybrids.