VICTORIA – British Columbians will have access to 11 new public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations added to highway rest areas throughout the province.

“Our goal is to build a seamless network of electric vehicle charging stations to make it easy and convenient for people to drive from one end of B.C. to the other, powered by clean energy,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Green transportation is an absolute necessity, given the realities we are facing when it comes to tackling climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

In addition to the 11 new charging sites, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure supported the installation of two more BC Hydro direct-current (DC) fast-charging facilities at Britton Creek and at the Tofino-Ucluelet Junction.

Eight of the new locations will be fast charging, with two stations per site, allowing drivers to charge up in 30 minutes or less. The other three will provide Level 2 stations, supplying 240 volts of power, as part of the Accelerate Kootenays EV charging network co-ordinated by the Community Energy Association.

“These chargers are critical for facilitating the expansion of electric vehicles adoption in B.C.,” said Andrew Weaver, B.C. Green Party leader. “As we work together to build a made-in-B.C. climate action plan, we must provide services that will support British Columbians to be able to participate in the transition to the low-carbon economy. I look forward to building on this important step forward in electrifying B.C.’s transportation infrastructure.”

People looking to take action for the environment can make a big impact by switching to an electric vehicle. An average EV driver will avoid producing at least four tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, compared to a gasoline vehicle. EV drivers also save approximately $2,400 per year in fuel costs and maintenance.

“EVs are quiet, environmentally friendly, and fun to drive,” said Bruce Sharpe, president of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association. “With its abundant clean electrical power, B.C. is a great place to own an EV. When people want to travel beyond their daily commute, DC fast chargers give them the confidence they need so that they can reach their destination in good time. With these welcome additions to the charging network, there are now more reasons than ever to make your next car electric.”

Quick Facts:

* British Columbia has more than1,300 Level 2 charging stations, and 64 DC fast-charging sites, installed or in the process of completion.

* It is estimated that B.C. roads are home to over 10,000 electric vehicles, with popularity on the rise.

* The combined $1.8 million in contracts, for 11 new charging locations, has been awarded to:
* Fraser City Installations;

* 644230 BC Ltd.; and

* Westcana Electric Inc.