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Condo owners hungry for electric vehicles

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Despite a new survey suggesting Canadians rank climate change below other concerns with the economy and health care, it seems there is one area where many of us are walking the walk — or maybe driving the drive — when it comes to being green.

After lineups for the Tesla Model 3 sales launch earlier this year, people who live in apartments and condos in Metro Vancouver are also showing their hunger for electric vehicles, with a provincial fund meant to help cover the cost of installing charging stations in garages all but depleted in a matter of weeks.

“I think there are a lot of people who have been on the fence who are now realizing the benefits and starting to actually buy electric vehicles,” says J-M Toriel, a director of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association and CEO of Big Green Island Transportation, which provides plug-in vehicle charging station installation services.

Toriel says the near $700,000 fund — covering three-quarters of the costs of condo and apartment EV charging stations — was meant to last a year, but within a matter of weeks was almost completely allocated.

“I don’t think they realized how much of an uptake there would be. There’s already a waiting list after a little more than two weeks. If you are a manager in a strata that has been looking at this, I would definitely put in the application as quickly as possible,” he tells NEWS 1130.

“The incentive program allows for $4,500 per port so any multi-unit residential building that has an interest in installing charging equipment can apply. New buildings in Vancouver are required to have 20 per cent of parking stalls with 240 volt, Level 2 charging availability but there has definitely been a lack of charging in existing buildings.”

Toriel says the provincial government has pledged to help lower global vehicle emissions by the year 2050 as part of the Zero Emission Vehicle Alliance.

“British Columbians clearly want to buy electric cars, but there still isn’t a wide selection of models available at the dealers,” he adds.

“Manufacturers won’t open the floodgates unless governments put the right policies and incentives in place to encourage them to do so.”