Vancouver City Council has approved today a policy that significantly increases the proportion of parking stalls in non-residential buildings that must be outfitted with electric-battery vehicle charging infrastructure.
Previously, a policy adopted in 2013 required 10% of parking stalls in new commercial buildings — such as office and retail — and the commercial component of mixed-use buildings to have Level 2 charging infrastructure.
But starting in June 2022, developers of most types of non-residential buildings will be required to install charging infrastructure on 45% of the parking stalls, as well as 100% of car share stalls. The policy applies to 100% of the parking stalls in new hotels.
The municipal government says these changes align with recent updates made by the City of North Vancouver.
According to a city staff report, installing charging infrastructure into the parking stalls of a new building is less costly and complex compared to retrofitting existing parkades. The cost difference for an old building can be up to 10 times more expensive than a new building.
It is estimated that the cost of construction for each energized parking stall in a new building is between $1,200 and $2,500.
The municipal government states there is a heightened demand for charging infrastructure over the long term, given that current market trends have made Vancouver the electric vehicle adoption leader in North America.
The rate of electric vehicle adoption continues to grow, ahead of the provincial government’s mandate of requiring all new light-duty vehicles sold in the province to be electric by 2040. The federal government is also proposing its own mandate for a similar policy by 2035.
City staff cite research that estimates the need for workplace charging in Metro Vancouver could peak at just over 40% of residents by the early 2040s.
The municipal government implemented its first partial charging infrastructure requirements on the parking vehicle stalls of new buildings in 2011. These policies saw a major revision in March 2018, when city council approved changes requiring that 100% of parking stalls — excluding visitor stalls — in new multi-family residential buildings must include charging infrastructure. This was again expanded in 2020 to residential parking stalls in one- and two-family dwellings.