UBC makes 18 electric-car charging stations available to the public

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      The University of British Columbia has debuted 18 new electric-car charging stations.

      The infrastructure project was completed in April but was only recently opened to the general public. It is the result of a partnership between UBC and Plug in BC, an initiative of the provincial government and was based on a report by UBC’s Transportation Infrastructure and Public Space Lab (TIPS), which included demographic considerations, adoption factors, and a planning framework.

      Iain Evans, UBC’s associate director of strategic partnerships, told the Straight that the project was implemented with the goal of reducing the univeristy’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. “Obviously getting C02 down [and] displacing gasoline or fossil-fuel vehicles on campus with electrics helps us achieve that,” he said.

      “The second major one [benefit] is research,” Evans continued, “We have quite a lot of expertise in micro grids [and] power electronics, so luckily using the actual charging infrastructure itself to do research, and by extension teaching, getting students engaged in research projects is a massive benefit for us.”

      A third positive outcome of the project is community engagement, Evans said. He explained that it’s UBC’s hope that by providing infrastructure for the community will encourage students, academics, and residents of area to go electric.

      The electric stations are level two, 240 volt chargers. According to Evans, that means a vehicle can plug in totally dead at 9:00 a.m. and be fully charged by the time a driver is preparing to leave campus at 5:00 p.m.

      According to a UBC media release detailing the program, its campus charging stations are the first of their kind available to the public in the region.

      "Plug in BC aims to build 570 charging stations across the province to support members of the public and organizational fleets," the release states.

      An interactive map displaying electric charging stations is available at ChargePoint.com.



      Thomas Beyer

      Aug 12, 2013 at 7:37pm

      In my opinion, electric cars will be a niche product for many years to come due to their limited range, their high cost, the time it takes to charge, the conflicting battery exchange options, the limited availability of charge stations and their inability to work well in cold weather.

      But, like all things new and allegedly “green” they are in vogue today and Tesla’s share price has reached lofty heights. Perhaps a short sale candidate. Also, much of the infrastructure is heavily government subsidized. Without those subsidies e-stations would not be viable.

      People will find out – in time – how impractical an electric car is – a fad for the urban rich, really, in addition to a second gasoline powered car. BC, for example, had subsidies set aside for 5000 such e-cars and not even 100 people applied !

      Of more worldwide interest, in far far higher volumes, will be smaller, gasoline or diesel powered vehicles, that accommodate one or two people. Think SmartCar, think BMW’s Mini, think the new Fiat 500 or think the new not yet released VW 1 pictured. This car, touted at the VW shareholder meeting recently as the “most economical in the world” needs less than a liter per 100km or 258 mpg, has a travel distance of over 600 km with a top speed of around 100km/h. It is over 3 m long, about 125 cm wide an a meter high, is made from carbon fibre and not painted to save weight, for now. It has roll-over protection and will go on sale next year first in China: for about 4000 Yuan or $600.

      The future of the urban car is here .. and it is not electric !

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      Oct 16, 2013 at 2:27pm

      There are only 8 public spots at Thunderbird Parkade. Where are the remaining 10 on campus??

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      Nov 28, 2014 at 7:49am

      The future of the urban car is most definitely electric.

      As a recent used electric car buyer I can say with full confidence that this is the future. current 'limitations' like range and recharge time will be solved very soon. Costs will come down very quickly as adoption climbs (any new technology is much more expensive at first .. think Computers, CD players, etc...) Already for some people, an electric car pays for itself in gas savings (it did for me). Wait until gas gets more expensive (it is coming in a big way)

      I regularly commute 100km+ a day and my Nissan Leaf is up to the task.

      The used electric vehicle market will make them even more affordable and replacement batteries (the only real maintenance item) just keep getting cheaper ($5000 is Nissan's latest price.. but expect that to go down to under $1000 in the next 5 years).

      I smile every time I drive past a gas station and have to fight my instict to pull in.

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