Canada could be seeing new laws in place to encourage electric vehicle (EV) use such as limiting the sale of gas powered vehicles in the future and requiring electrical panel and capacity for EV chargers in new parking lots. As the United States changes leadership, the Biden administration and Ottawa have both agreed that large scale zero emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption is needed to meet climate change goals and plan to have more discussions in the future.
With the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline marking the loss of thousands of oil and gas jobs, the US is beginning its move towards more environmentally sustainable industries which will have a large impact on Canada. In the US manufacturer incentives are proposed to increase ZEV production while Canada is already rolling out incentives for EV Chargers. Both California and Quebec have already passed laws banning the sale of most new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 while British Columbia has made a similar ban for 2040.
What about infrastructure?
In order to make changes like these feasible, Vancouver and surrounding cities have passed bylaws requiring all new residential parking spaces to feature outlets capable of supporting regular EV Charger use. Based on their successes and findings we may see many other Canadian cities adopting similar bylaws as the City of Richmond, BC has even published a guide for other local governments to make implementing such changes easy.
How could this affect my property?
Canada has missed several climate change goals and may use places BC, Quebec, and California as case studies for using legislation to enforce the environmental changes it has been trying to make for years. As EV sales continue to rise, more and more building users and residents will be looking to charge their vehicles overnight or while they are at not in use. Future proofing your building is crucial to maintaining relevancy as trends and technology change.
Future-Proofing New Properties
Fortunately for new residential buildings, one estimate puts making new parking areas EV Charger ready at an additional 1-2% to the overall cost of constructing new onsite parking. Based on this relatively low investment cost, adding electrical panels and outlets to a parking area combined with EV energy management systems is an effective way to prepare for inevitable incoming EV users.
Existing Properties and Retrofits
While existing properties are not as easy to implement EV chargers in, it is still important to gauge existing building user interests and future EV sales predictions. Taking advantage of incentives, like Natural Resources Canada's ZEVI program, can go a long way in keeping costs manageable and reducing pressure from current and future building users.