Support for workplace and fleet EV charging

by Tom Hackney

22 March 2023

The BCUC has approved an application by FortisBC’s electric utility to give incentives to employers and light-duty EV fleet operators to install Level 2 EV chargers at their premises.

FortisBC, whose service area includes Kelowna, Princeton and Osoyoos, forecasts it will give out incentive grants to some 310 applicants over the four years of the program, with an average of 4 chargers incented per applicant.

The program is designed to remove barriers to the adoption and use of EVs. FortisBC notes that EV charging infrastructure is not widely available for light-duty fleets or in workplaces in its service area; meanwhile the recently released CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 has set ambitious targets for the adoption of zero emissions vehicles all across BC.

The four year limit arises indirectly from the government regulation that allows FortisBC to undertake the program. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation (GGRR) requires that the utility in question must reasonably expect that by 2030 its undertaking will have generated enough new revenue in electricity sales to cover all the program costs (i.e., so there will be no cross-subsidy from other ratepayers).

Fortis expects the program will meet this cost-effectiveness requirement, but only if the incentives are ended in 2026.

BCSEA teamed up with VEVA, the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association, to intervene in the review of FortisBC’s application. We strongly supported the proposal.

We look forward to seeing the results. If the program is successful, we hope the government will amend the GGRR to allow it to continue.