A scaled down version of supplying plug-ins for electric cars will be voted on next week by city council. A very charged debate at council’s executive committee Tuesday saw plenty of push back.
The concept now has it so city owned vehicles would have city run charging locations that would also be open to you and your electric car, at a proposed cost of $300,000 for 30 of them. That’s down from the original proposal in a report to executive committee that would have seen 100 stations for $1 million.
Coun. Michael Oshry still voted against the plan, but he was in the minority. It will be looked at next week by the full city council.
“I’ve got no problem with the city increasing their fleet, but again if they are increasing their fleet and you’re spending more capital to auxiliary charging stations and they are now being used by the public, which I’ve made very clear I have a problem with that.”
“There’s a practical component to it and there’s an ideological component that I don’t think the city should be paying for private individuals to be charging their vehicles.”
“We did hear there were tons of private enterprises, shopping malls, car dealerships that sort of thing that are putting them on their own dollar,” Oshry told reporters.
The administration was willing to back down. “If you don’t want to do this we’ll back off totally,” said city manager Linda Cochrane.
Mayor Don Iveson along with Coun. Michael Walters helped steer the reduced proposal through. Iveson noted city council once voted unanimously for an energy transition strategy to get off fossil fuels. “Every single point that we try to do implementation, we get lost in the weeds.”
The report said there are about 150 electric car owners in Edmonton. “I would say that’s a pretty small minority of people that might be pushing this agenda,” said Coun. Tony Caterina. “I think it’s on the coat tails of everything else that we’re doing.”
“This is just another example of pushing an agenda that really affects such a small number of people.”
Council will also look at a way to have smart cards used at these stations so the city can charge you a fee for the use of the charge, which Iveson said will be pennies at a time. They’ve asked the administration to see if there’s a low cost way of administering the sale of electricity to private users.