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Permanent electric vehicle fast-charge station launched at Empire Fields

May 6 2016 Charger first of its kind in Vancouver

“Electric vehicles are an important part of reaching our goal to eliminate fossil fuels and go 100% renewable – and it saves people money on fuel,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

DC fast-charge station for electric vehicles at Empire Fields

The City of Vancouver and BC Hydro, along with the Province of British Columbia, Natural Resources Canada, and BMW, announce the official launch of the Empire Fields DC fast-charge station for electric vehicles.

The Empire Fields DC fast charger is the first of its kind in Vancouver, and supports a broader network of DC fast-charge stations throughout the region.

Station faster than a typical home charging system

These stations provide high-speed charging to electric vehicles for a small fee. A DC fast-charge station can charge an electric vehicle’s battery to 80% in about 20 minutes, or about eight to 10 times faster than a typical home charging system.

The Empire Fields location, immediately off the TransCanada Highway on East Hastings Street, allows electric vehicle (EV) drivers to make longer journeys, effectively connecting travel between municipalities.

It also enables EV tourism, encouraging drivers from outside the region to use electric vehicles when coming to or through Vancouver.

EVs help users fight climate change, save money on fuel

“Expanding the electric vehicle charging network is a great example of a partnership that empowers Vancouverities to fight climate change,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“Electric vehicles are an important part of reaching our goal to eliminate fossil fuels and go 100% renewable – and it saves people money on fuel,” said Mayor Robertson.

“The Government of Canada commends the City of Vancouver for this great achievement,” said the Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Support for clean transportation is a key part of our plan for the transition to a low-carbon economy. Through Budget 2016, we have committed significant investments to support electric vehicle infrastructure and address climate change.”

BC has largest public charging network in Canada

“Congratulations to the City of Vancouver on the DC fast-charging station at Empire Fields,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines.

“Drivers thinking of buying an electric vehicle need to know there are convenient locations they can go for a quick charge. Thanks to investments under the province’s Clean Energy Vehicle Program, BC has the largest public charging network in Canada. Working with our partners including BC Hydro, the federal government, BMW Canada, and communities around the province, we’re expanding charging infrastructure to encourage more British Columbians to go electric and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” 

Charge stations support Renewable City Strategy

The expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure is one part of Vancouver’s long-term plan to transition to renewably powered transportation throughout the city.

As part of the Renewable City Strategy, electric vehicles will, when compared with fossil fueled vehicles:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly
  • Improve air quality 
  • Reduce noise

By using electricity from BC Hydro, which was over 98% renewable in 2015, drivers of electric vehicles will pay less for fuel and support economic activity in British Columbia. 

“As a leader in the development and sales of electric cars, BMW Canada is proud to invest in and expand the DC fast-charging infrastructure in the Province of BC,” said Marc Belcourt, National Manager, BMW i. “BMW Canada’s investment will enhance the ownership experience for all electric vehicle drivers in B.C. Equally important, expanding the DC fast-charging infrastructure is a critical step in increasing the adoption of electric mobility.”

New charge station accessible 24 hours a day

The Empire Fields station is part of a province-wide program to install 30 DC fast-charge stations. There are now 23 sites with access to fast charging throughout British Columbia.

The Empire Fields DC fast charge can be used 24 hours a day, by any fast charging-enabled electric vehicle. It supports both the CHAdeMO and SAE Combined Charging System connectors. (Tesla Motors vehicles can access the CHAdeMO connector using an adaptor). 

“The Empire Fields DC fast-charge station is a central component of the network along the TransCanada Highway that enables drivers from the Fraser Valley to continue westward to Horseshoe Bay and beyond,” said Greg Reimer, Executive Vice-President, Transmission, Distribution & Customer Service. “BC Hydro is responding to consumers who choose clean vehicle technologies with a fast-charging network that expands long distance travel capacity by electric vehicles in BC.”

Vancouver's charging network grows 

The Empire Fields DC fast-charge station expands Vancouver’s existing public charging network, which has an estimated 250 Level 2 charging points, many of which provide free charging throughout the city.

Public charging is just one part of how Vancouver supports electric vehicles – part of achieving the Renewable City Strategy that commits Vancouver to be powered by 100% renewable energy before 2050.

We also require electric vehicle infrastructure in all new residential and commercial buildings. In alignment with the Province of BC, Vancouver will be allowing electric vehicles displaying an official decal into its high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, regardless of the number of passengers.

Consider going electric

With a growing network of charging stations, provincial incentives, and more electric vehicle models on the market, now is a great time to purchase an electric vehicle.

Visit www.pluginbc.ca for more information