British Columbians are among the highest adopters of Zero Emission Vehicles in North America, with approximately 18% of new light-duty vehicle sales in 2022 being EVs.
More than 85,000 light-duty EVs were registered in BC in last year, up from 5,000 in 2016.
Since opening its first public charging station in 2018, usage across FortisBC’s network has “increased significantly,” according to a statement from the firm—almost doubling the number of charging events each year.
In 2022 alone, the network cracked 13,000 charging events, compared to 7,000 charging events in 2021, FortisBC noted.
It’s all part of a province-wide “Electric Highway” that aims to connect all of BC, rendering EV road trips not only viable but practical—finally eliminating the “range anxiety” that ranks as a top concern for aspiring EV drivers.
But the cost of fuel along BC’s Electric Highway may soon be going up markedly.
BC Hydro recently applied for a 15% rate hike for public charging stations, records show.
Notably, this increase would hit hard the region’s many EV drivers who do not yet have a home-based charging station.
Experts have also lamented BC Hydro’s peculiar insistence on using time-based rates for many charging stations.
More logical for electric charging, critics say, are rates based on kilowatt hours.
The BC Utilities Commission is currently considering public comment as it works toward a decision regarding the crown corporation’s rate increase application.