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Electric vehicle charging station.

Misconceptions around the charging of an electric vehicle are stopping most B.C. drivers from buying one, a new report has found. 

Of drivers who don’t have an electric vehicle, BC Hydro says 69 per cent are concerned with the availability of public charging stations and say it’s the main reasons they don’t make the switch. 

“They’re afraid to purchase an electric vehicle because they don’t think there’s enough public charging infrastructure,” said Susie Rieder with BC Hydro told CTV News Vancouver. “But actually, most EV owners are charging at home or at work.”

Rieder says for most, it becomes a new way of living and charging on the street is just a way to top up.

“Essentially, the gas station is in your home, you’re charging overnight.”

Across the province, there are about 1,700 public charging stations (most of these are Level 2). As of Aug. 31, 2019, 60 of those charging stations are BC Hydro Level 3 fast charging stations.

Increased electricity costs are also a concern with charging from home. A quarter of those surveyed say they’re worried about paying more on their hydro bill.

But Rieder says it does amount to a savings.

“Plugging in a Nissan Leaf is about $20 a month extra on your electricity bill, compared to gassing up a Honda Civic - that’s about $170 a month on average,” she said. 

There are now close to 26,000 electric vehicles on the road in B.C. and BC Hydro predicts that by 2030, that number will rise to close to 400,000.

Just last week the B.C. government announced it will offer rebates to buy and install charging stations in homes and condo buildings. 

Homeowners can get a $350 rebate for installing a Level 2 charging station at their house, and for a limited time BC Hydro will match that. Condo and apartment building owners or workplace operators can get a $2,000 rebate for the charging stations. They're also eligible for up to five hours of free support services from a charging station advisor.

The online survey was conducted by Majid Khoury on behalf of BC Hydro. It surveyed 1,162 drivers in British Columbia from July 29 to Aug. 5, 2019.