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Electric Vehicle Plan

A City of Surrey electric vehicles sits in a public parking spot for electric vehicle charging.


As part of Surrey's goal for becoming a greener and more sustainable city, the City is considering changes to bylaws and policies to promote and accommodate the increased use of electric vehicles.

Goals of the Planning Process

  • Understand the City’s role in encouraging and supporting electric vehicles.
  • Identify strategies the City can undertake to improve access to charging to make sure people have access to charging locations outside their home.
  • Develop policies to support the installation of electric vehicle chargers in new residential buildings.
  • Contribute to other City objectives, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction, improved mobility options, and land use planning.

Planning Timeline

    Collapse/Expand All
  • August 2017 expand
  • August 2017

    Launch survey to gather feedback from the public on what they hope to see for electric vehicle charging.

  • October 2017 expand
  • October 2017

    An update is provided to Council about the progress of the electric vehicle plan.

  • Winter 2017 expand
  • Winter 2017

    For the rest of 2017, we will be meeting with industry experts, representatives from the development community, other municipalities, local stakeholders, and subject matter experts to gather information on the options available to Surrey and what examples of success have occurred in other places.

  • Early 2018 expand
  • Early 2018

    We will report back to City Council in early 2018 with proposed changes to policies and bylaws based upon feedback and research.

Surrey’s Actions to Date

The City began supporting electric vehicles and providing public charging facilities in 2012. This has included:

  • Grant funding from the Province of British Columbia to locate one of the country’s first publicly available free Level 2 chargers within Surrey.
  • Operation of 2 Level 3 “DC Fast” chargers – one at City Hall and one at the Surrey Museum.
  • 16 Level 2 chargers at public locations throughout the City.
  • The City operates 8 electric Nissan Leaf vehicles as part of our Corporate vehicle fleet.
  • The construction of any new gas station now requires installation of complementary electric vehicle chargers.
  • We are now in the process of updating our policies for electric vehicles.

Learn about other ways to have a lighter footprint and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, with tips and information on smarter travel choices.

Supporting electric vehicles is part of the City’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – track our progress on the Sustainability Dashboard and learn about other initiatives the City is undertaking.

Why are we doing this?

 GHG Emissions

  • Climate change is a threat to the City of Surrey. The City of Surrey has identified climate change mitigation as a policy priority in its Climate Action Strategy. The support of low and zero-emission vehicles is a specific measure the City of Surrey has identified to do this.
  • Transportation emissions in the City of Surrey represent 65% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing these emissions is required for the City to reach its greenhouse gas reduction targets.
  • In BC, because we have carbon friendly hydroelectric power generation, the use of an electric vehicle in lieu of a gasoline vehicle eliminates almost 100% of the emissions that would have otherwise been generated.
  • Widespread adoption of electric vehicles is necessary in order for the City to reach is climate and GHG reduction targets.

 Rising Popularity

  • Since 2011, sales of electric vehicles annually in British Columbia have increased year over year by an average of 92%. Electric vehicle sales are projected to be anywhere from 20 – 50% of passenger vehicles by 2030.
  • The purchase price of electric vehicles has decreased in recent years as battery technology has become cheaper. New electric vehicle models in 2017 are cost-competitive with comparable gasoline powered vehicles.
  • There are now more than 20 different options of battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles available in Canada.
  • The operating cost of electric vehicles is one quarter than of a gasoline vehicle, when comparing the price of electricity to the price of gasoline.
  • The driving range of electric vehicles, before needing a charge, has increased with improved technology. Consumer models such as the Chevy Bolt have a range of over 350km.
  • It is expected that electric vehicle sales will comprise 20 – 50% of the passenger vehicle market in the next two decades.
  • Major automakers are expanding their electric vehicle offerings, with some manufacturers, such as Volvo, phasing out gasoline vehicles for the passenger vehicle market.

Charging Availability

  • The single most effective measure that municipalities can take to encourage and support electric vehicles is to ensure access to charging in public places, work places, and at home.
  • A lack of charging options for new electric vehicle owners is a major barrier to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
  • Readily and publicly available chargers will allow access to charging for new and existing owners of electric vehicles living in apartment buildings with no charging facilities.

 Installation Cost

  • The proportion of apartment units constructed in Surrey over the past 5 years ranges from 25 – 40% of all new housing stock. This proportion is expected to increase as the City densifies to accommodate continued population growth.
  • The labour and material cost to install the wiring for an electric vehicle charging unit in a parking stall in a completed apartment building is considerably more expensive than the cost to pre-wire a unit while a building is under construction.
  • Pre-wired charging can act as an incentive to electric vehicle purchase and save potential owners considerable money. It can also be attractive to those considering this new technology and purchasing a new home.

Activities in Other Municipalities

Metro Vancouver, the City of Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, City of Richmond, and the City of Port Coquitlam are all in the process of or have developed electric vehicle policies. The Fraser Basin Council, BC Hydro, and the Province of BC are also actively involved in the promotion of electric vehicles.

Related Content

Transportation Strategic Plans

See our view for transportation in Surrey's Transportation Strategic Plan and supporting documents.

Electric Vehicles

Explore a map of Surrey's alternative vehicle fuelling stations, and join Surrey in reducing community greenhouse gas emissions.