Oak Bay amped up for new charging station

Use of green technology expanding in municipality

Oak Bay Beach Hotel manager Michelle Le Sage and Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen try out the new electric car charging station behind municipal hall with one of the hotel’s electric vehicles. The charging station is available free to the public.

Oak Bay residents can fill ‘er up for free – if they own an electric car that is.

“This will be the first vehicle ‘filling’ station in Oak Bay since the last gas station closed about 20 years ago,” Mayor Nils Jensen said.

Last week, the district installed its first charging station, an all-weather, double pedestal charger from AddEnergie Technologies that cost approximately $10,000, at municipal hall.

The charging station has a 30-amp 240-volt charger. “We’ve added a 110-volt outlet which will recharge neighbourhood zero emission vehicles, such as the one owned by the Oak Bay Beach Hotel,” Jensen said.

Oak Bay was the first municipality in the province to allow neighbourhood zero emission vehicles on all its streets. Provincial regulations allow such vehicles on municipal roads only if the speed limit is under 40 km/h unless a municipality passes a bylaw to allow the vehicles on roads 50 km/h and under, which was done in Oak Bay.

“We received a provincial grant of approximately $7,500 (for the charger),” Jensen said. “This is one more step towards making Oak Bay the greenest community in B.C. We want to support the move away from fossil fuels to greener forms of energy.”

The grant came from Plug In B.C.’s Community Charging Infrastructure Fund which was set up to help build of a network of 570 electric charging stations throughout the province.

The district will monitor the usage and the electricity costs for the charger, which is available at no cost for the time being. “This will allow us to determine the need for more stations throughout the community and how much to charge for the charge,” Jensen said. “We want to encourage the move to cleaner forms of energy.”