Esquimalt adds EV capacity to new buildings

February 8, 2021
Esquimalt News

News release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ESQUIMALT, B.C.—The Township of Esquimalt is taking steps to ensure that new residential builds are electric vehicle-ready.

Last week, staff introduced a bylaw amendment to include requirements for parking stalls in new residential construction to have a minimum number of energized electric vehicle outlets. New buildings would be required to have the proper wiring to allow for charging stations.

“This update puts new buildings in Esquimalt in a position to better accommodate low-carbon transportation,” said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “Council is committed to making environmentally thoughtful changes in how the Township moves forward.”
Lack of residential charging capacity is a barrier to adoption of electric vehicles, especially in multi-family buildings. Adopting EV-ready building requirements for new buildings is a straightforward bylaw update that parallels those in the Township’s neighbouring municipalities and creates a consistent set of regulations for developers to follow.

EV-Ready is defined as “a parking stall that is provided with conduit and an energized outlet capable of providing power to an electric vehicle charging station.” EV-Ready requirements have been introduced in many lower mainland municipalities and more recently in Victoria, Saanich, Central Saanich and View Royal. 

Ensuring adequate capacity at the time of construction is significantly more cost-effective than retrofitting parking stalls and garages later.

Esquimalt’s Climate Emergency Response Report includes a recommendation to require 100 per cent electrification of new parking stalls in residential developments in order to support EV ownership. Supporting electrification of vehicles is a key climate action at both the federal and provincial levels of government. 

It should be noted that this does not include any requirement to install the charging unit itself, just the energized outlet. Existing buildings would not be required to upgrade. 

The bylaw will go to final reading in early spring. In the meantime, staff will engage with the development community to ensure a clear understanding of the changes. The bylaw amendments are scheduled to take effect for any building permits for new residential units issued after July 1, 2021.

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For more information:

Tara Zajac
Manager of Communications, Township of Esquimalt
Phone: 250.414.7122
[email protected]