Campbell River city council has agreed to implement a fee-for-use system for the city’s electric vehicle charging stations, in a move intended to increase user turnover.
The city currently operates three charging stations, located at City Hall, the Dogwood Operations Centre, and the Visitor Information Centre.
Charging at these sites is free and has no time limit. As a result of this, there have been complaints that some users are parking there for longer than necessary, including overnight or even days at a time.
The intention of a move to fee-for-use change is to encourage more turnaround at the stations, to make them available to more drivers, both locals and visitors. This solution was proposed because enforcing a parking time limit at the stations was deemed unfeasible.
On Oct. 4, city council unanimously passed a motion to implement a fee-for-use system of 30 minutes of free charging followed by a charge of $2 per hour.
The new fees will help the city recover some of the costs of operating the stations. While the purchase of the three municipally-owned charging stations was funded through external sources, the stations cost about $12,000 per year, considering electricity use and depreciation.
Council’s decision follows other municipalities on Vancouver Island have made to increasing demand for charging infrastructure. For example, Victoria charges regular parking fees for its stations, while Comox charges $1 per hour for the first two hours and $2 per hour thereafter.