BC Hydro wants to raise EV charging fees


SUPER COOL MOD & Supporting Vendor
Oct 21, 2006
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Edmonton/Sherwood Park
August 22, 2023 by Adam Malik

BC Hydro wants to raise EV charging fees​

Media report notes that customers are pushing back on time-based fees.

Image credit: Depositphotos.com
A recent bid from BC Hydro has electric vehicle owners who rely on public charging concerned.

A report from The Canadian Press noted residents have been seeing savings from switching from gas-powered vehicles to electrics. The utility said that raising rates at public EV charging stations by 15 per cent starting Sept. 1. would allow it to recover the costs of providing stations over 10 years.

But would the rate hike reduce the incentive for others to make the switch to an EV?

BC Hydro said the new rates would depend on the type of charger used. Time-based charges would be between three and 60 cents per minute, and power-based charges from 33 to 44 cents per kilowatt hour. Extended-stay charges would be 40 cents per minute.

The BC Utilities Commission appointed a panel to consider the application and is accepting public comments.

CP spoke to Rick Butzelaar, a Nanaimo resident who emailed the commission to deny the request over the fees-by-the-minute charge.

“What kind of concerned me more about the increase (is) as soon as we bought the EV, the home charger rebate ended,” Butzelaar told CP. “We don’t have a home charger.”

The hike is “just and reasonable” and will protect its other customers from the costs of providing power through public charging stations, BC Hydro wrote in its submissions to the commission.

BC Hydro told customers about the proposed rate increase earlier this month. Public comment letters were recently posted.

“I do not feel that BC Hydro should be granted a rate increase at their EV chargers at this time. First, they should not be allowed any increase until they change from by the minute to by the (kilowatt hour) charging,” wrote Warren Lemcke of Surrey, B.C. “As I am sure you know, the rate that a vehicle draws electricity from a BC Hydro machine is determined by the vehicle, not the machine.”

Jennifer Lactin of Vernon, B.C., said in a letter to the commission that BC Hydro should be incentivizing people to use electric vehicles by providing subsidized charging rates.

“BC Hydro should be providing EV charging at a reduced rate to encourage people to switch (to) EVs,” the letter said. “BC Hydro should be displaying leadership in encouraging EV ownership by providing non-market prices.”

Blair Qualey, president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association told CP that said many people want to know more about the costs of electric vehicle ownership, but “range anxiety” remains an issue. There’s confusion about how long a battery charge will last and how far it can take them.

He added that the proposed rate increase may be understandable, but the timing and “optics” are not quite perfect.

“It just adds a further stumbling block, I think, in the process of consumers trying to make the decision to, you know, put their toe in the water for an electric vehicle,” he said.

The association hasn’t taken a formal position on the issue. BC Hydro did not immediately respond to requests for comment from CP.
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