BCUC EV Inquiry Outcome: Private Organizations Are Now Allowed to Charge a Fee

Starting in 2018, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) had put forward An Inquiry into the Regulation of Electric Vehicle Charging Service to seek market evidence whether to allow and/or regulate pricing on private organizations providing EV charging services. As of 2018, only BC Hydro was allowed to resell electricity per kWh in British Columbia deterring private players to get into the EV charging service market due to a lack of attractive ROI.

On March 22nd 2019, the BCUC has come to the conclusion that there was no regulation needed therefore approving electric vehicle charging service providers who are not otherwise public utilities, as well as landlords and strata corporations exempt from part 3 of the Utility Commission Act, other than sections 25 and 38.

This is great news for all private organizations wanting to provide EV charging services while generating an ROI whether charging per kWh, per hour or a combination of both. This new regulation also provides flexibility and additional options to manage some EV drivers who like to block a station after being fully charged.

This news isn't only great for future EV charging service providers but also for EV drivers. Now that a fee will be added to the majority of level 2 and level 3 charging stations, EV drivers will stop experiencing long charging line ups as users will find it cheaper to charge at home . Charging station will be used only when necessary reducing wait time. Not only we will experience a reduced wait time but other private players adding new DCFC to retain market share. Companies like Canadian Tire and Petro-Canada are now increasing the amount of location with DCFC at their gas stations. This results in additional charging stations for EV drivers as the EV market is exponentially increasing annually.

In British Colombia, there has been frustration from Strata Corporation being unable to charge for the exact amount of electricity used from a charging station. Using smart chargers, it is now possible to have a fully automated system including monitoring and payment services avoiding flat monthly fees that has been inconveniently used in the past years.

- Maxime Charron