BC Hydro Adds 100-kW Fast Charging Sites in Service Territory

Jan. 26, 2024
Two new 100-kW charging units were installed in the Surrey community located on the Semiahmoo peninsula.

British Columbia distribution utility BC Hydro has doubled the number of electric vehicle fast chargers in South Surrey.

Two new 100-kW charging units were installed in the Surrey community located on the Semiahmoo peninsula. BC Hydro originally opened the South Surrey site in 2018 with two 50-kW chargers.

The newer, higher capacity fast chargers can add about 100 kilometers (62 miles) of range to an electric vehicle in about 10 minutes. Worries about range and charging times are two impediments to EV adoption.

"B.C. has one of the largest public electric vehicle charging networks in Canada, but running out of power with no place to charge up, especially on longer trips, can still be a worry for people," said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, in a statement. "Together with BC Hydro and other partners we're continuing to expand our public charging network to reduce range anxiety and encourage more drivers to make the switch to an EV powered by B.C.'s clean electricity."

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Fossil-fueled transportation accounts for about 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia, according to some reports. Three years ago, the utility revealed an electrification plan trying to encourage residents and businesses to switch to electrification (powered by hydropower) from fossil fuels.

"This new charge site will help British Columbians get to where they need to go more quickly and reliably, all while using clean energy," said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. "More electric chargers bring both environmental and economic benefits.”

BC Hydro currently has about 164 units at 85 sites within its service territory. Those chargers are funded in partnership with the Province of BC and Natural Resources Canada.

The utility’s goal is to have 325 charging units at 145 sites by the end of 2025.

Several years ago, the British Columbia provincial government announced greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of about 30 percent for transportation and 60 percent for buildings and communities by 2030, compared to 2007 levels.

In British Columbia’s biggest population center, the Vancouver International Airport has contracted with Schneider Electric to implement numerous decarbonization technologies over the coming decade.