Sidney’s conversion to more electric vehicles will require more electric vehicle chargers, a new report finds (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney charges up conversion of municipal vehicle fleet

Availability of charging stations, vehicle types and maintenance may be barriers

Sidney wants to drive its vehicle fleet into an electric future as part of its climate action plan, but might hit several roadblocks along the way.

That is one of the messages found in a new report in which staff detail efforts to speed up the conversion of Sidney’s fleet of light-duty vehicles to electric vehicles.

Issues concern the number of charging stations, the availability of vehicle types, and access to maintenance.

Jenn Clary, Sidney’s director of engineering, said in the report that staff expects multiple new electric vehicle types to become available within a few years, as the electric vehicle industry is quickly evolving. But Sidney’s conversion to more electric vehicles will require more electric vehicle chargers at both Sidney’s Town Hall and works yard.

RELATED: Expert says Sidney appears on track with plans for EV charging infrastructure

RELATED: Sidney considers turning over public charging stations to private company

Another issue is the availability of certain vehicle types. Consider the following example. Sidney’s fire department operates five special service vehicles and to “staff’s knowledge, there are currently no electric special service vehicles available for purchase,” said Clary.

And when electric vehicles are available, access to maintenance becomes an issue.

Sidney currently has four cargo vans that run on gas, with one of those vans scheduled for replacement in 2020. While staff are aware of several possible options for purchase, future maintenance needs must be considered. “If very little of the maintenance can be done in house, this may not be an attractive option,” said Clary.

A comparable picture emerges when it comes to pickup trucks, whose “versatility” allows staff to perform multiple jobs, said Clary, adding that the the need for pickup trucks won’t go away.

RELATED: Sidney could pump up electric vehicle charging across community

RELATED: Sidney says it has not received any complaints about vehicles hogging EV charging stations

But manufacturers have not focused on trucks suitable for fleet use, she said. While Sidney currently has a replacement budget between $30,000 and $35,000, models available will likely cost a minimum of $60,000 to $80,000.

“Another downside to purchasing an electric vehicle from a new brand, such as a Tesla or a Rivian, is that the Town will have limited ability to maintain them in house,” she said. “Tesla, for example, does not currently have a repair shop on Vancouver lsland, so major repairs would require staff to drive the pickup truck to Vancouver to be repaired.”

Tesla’s Cybertruck presented just days after Clary had prepared her report has a starting price of $39,900 (US), topping out at $69,900.

Council received the report and asked staff to apply for grants that would allow the municipality to increase the number of charging stations.

Sidney operates one electric car, two gasoline-electric hybrid SUVs, five gasoline specials service vehicles, four gasoline cargo vans and 13 gasoline pickup trucks.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Most Read