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July 6, 2009

Vancouver developers may soon be forced to install charging stations for electric cars in new condos, according to a recent article by CBC News entitled “Vancouver condos in electric car charging flap” (July 6, 2009).

As per the article, there are fewer than 10 such vehicles in use in the city, but this initiative will be building towards the future. It seems a little premature to be adding measures now, to allow for the potential of the electric car in the future. The deputy executive director of the Urban Development Institute, Jeff Fisher, says it may be too early to commit to this new technology.

“City staff argued it is cheaper to install the charging stations now, than to retrofit the stalls later” says the article, “the cost to install the stations is estimated at $500 to $2,000 per stall.”

City staff are expected to recommend to council Thursday that stations be installed in at least one-tenth of new condo parking spaces, along with some city-owned parking lots.

According to the Vancouver Sun article “Downtown condo tower to be Canada’s first plug-in electric vehicle building“, the condominium the Cosmo, will have capacity for residents to plug-in and charge their electric vehicles. The planned 23-story building in downtown Vancouver, will have 220v plug-in capability in about 20% of the underground parking stalls at a cost of approximately $5,000 per parking stall to be plug-in ready. A great marketing strategy, especially if not forced to do so.

The idea of “Build It And They Will Plug-In” seems like a guessing game, at a huge expense to the developers, which will ultimately be offset in the price to the purchaser.

JULY 15 2009 UPDATE:

Vancouver’s council, on July 9 2009, unanimously passed a bylaw that will require developers of new condos and multi-unit residential complexes to ensure that a fifth of on-site parking spaces have 240-volt electric-vehicle charging stations. The council also supported a pilot project for public charging sites.

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