City of Kamloops adopts electric vehicle and e-bike strategy

Early no-cost action items to further suppose e-technology have been approved, with further actions being revisited

At the end of August, the Kamloops City Council authorized and adopted the Electric Vehicle (EV and Electric Bike (E-Bike) Strategy, understanding that only action items with zero cost would be implemented in 2021. Other strategy actions will be revisited when new funding becomes available.

Developed between December 2019 and May 2020, the EV and E-Bike Strategy is an early step for the City of Kamloops to support the transition to electric transportation. Background research, best practice review and engaging with stakeholders and residents were all steps in this process.

During this strategy development period, engagement activities displayed public support for the proposed preparations that included an overall transition to electrified public transportation, expanding at-home and at-work EV charging and further public space infrastructure for on the go charging and city cycling.

According to the Summary Report of the community engagement, 100 per cent of people strongly agreed that the City needs to maintain a high priority towards completing a safer bicycle network to keep cyclists of all ages and their bikes safe.

Data polled from 2017 shows that personal and commercial transportation accounts for 66 per cent of Kamloops’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The EV and E-Bike Strategy is just one of many sets of actions that aim to reduce local emissions, improve local air pollution, promote community health, well-being, and support global targets to reduce climate change.

“As more residents and organizations make the shift to low-carbon and active transportation, our community greenhouse gas emissions will decrease,” said Glen Cheetham, the City’s Sustainability Services Supervisor. “Taking action to reduce transportation emissions is a key priority as they represent 66% of our community’s total emissions.”

Currently, the City is encouraging residents to map out potential future publically-accessible charging stations for EVs and E-Bikes within the city. This input will further guide the City on how it can support the adoption of electric infrastructure.

Electric infrastructure isn’t new to Kamloops, with 41 public EV charging stations within 15 km of the city, several of which are located within TRU parking lots.

TRU also currently offers an E-Bike sharing program through the Sustainability Office, with reservations available online, open to students and faculty. Bikes are actively cleaned and disinfected to stop the spread of COVID-19 during this time.