This is leadership … almost. Well, sort of. It’s getting there.
We’ve been aching for some real, serious, winning leadership on climate and cleantech matters. Not just “aggressive” 2040 targets, and not procurement of just a few electric buses. We need leadership that pulls the world forward into a cleaner, safer, more livable atmosphere much more quickly.
North Vancouver, which is a city … just north of Vancouver, is showing that kind of leadership, or something approaching that kind of leadership. It’s getting there.
A tweet from an EV driver in British Columbia led me to the story. North Shore News had a story titled “City of North Van mandates EV charging in all new parking stalls” (“North Van” = North Vancouver). I was thrilled about the leadership and had a slightly different version of the title and intro written, but then I started to suspect that the title was misleading.
If North Vancouver did require EV charging stations at every new parking spot, I think that would be the first city to pass such a strong policy, and I think it would make sense for the reasons reportedly explained by Larisa Lensink, environmental sustainability specialist for the city. North Shore News summarizes as such: “Since 2016, the city has used 20 per cent as the guideline when negotiating with developers for parking stalls capable of charging EVs. But with changes in the consumer auto market and future legislation mandating sales of zero-emission vehicles only by 2040, that is no longer going to cut it.”
The thing is, the new requirement is not an EV charging station at every new parking spot. What North Vancouver is requiring is that every new residential parking spot be “EV ready,” which means there must be an electricity outlet and wiring with 240V of power capacity. That will make it easy to install a charging station once someone decides they want to do so.
You can see how my enthusiasm would drop — there’s a big difference between requiring charging stations pop up everywhere and just making sure the wiring is in place to make it easy to install stations. Nonetheless, I do have to say that this EV readiness policy is one of the strongest city policies for EV charging out there. It’s still extremely uncommon to have such a policy.
Specifically, the wording of the new requirements is as follows:
Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements for New Residential Development – File: 11-5280-20-0004/1
Report: Environmental Sustainability Specialist, December 5, 2018
Moved by Councillor McIlroy, seconded by Councillor Valente
PURSUANT to the report of the Environmental Sustainability Specialist, dated December 5, 2018, entitled “Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements for New Residential Development”:
THAT “Zoning Bylaw, 1995, No. 6700, Amendment Bylaw, 2018, No. 8693” (Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure) be considered;
THAT the electric vehicle supply equipment provisions in the Sustainable Development Guidelines be amended by replacing the current measures with:
- Electric Vehicle Readiness: A minimum of 20% of all commercial parking spaces include an energized outlet capable of providing Level 2 or higher charging level for an electric vehicle;
- Electric Vehicle Readiness: A minimum of 20% of all residential visitor parking spaces include an energized outlet capable of providing Level 2 or higher charging level for an electric vehicle.
So, good news out of North Vancouver, just not the shockingly wicked leadership I hoped from reading the initial headline about it.