BC’s Crown electrical utility is proposing to change the way it charges EV owners at its public charging stations from a time-based model to one that actually charges for the amount of energy used.As well as an ‘idling fee’ for those who overstay their allotted time slots at the dock.In order to recoup costs of building out public charging infrastructure, BC Hydro is proposing to impose ‘energy-based’ rates of 28.28 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for slower Level 2 chargers and 34.34 cents per kWh for the faster units in a submission to the BC Utilities Commission..That’s about three times the 11.9 cents per kWh British Columbians paid to power their homes in 2023, but closer to the average of 25.8 cents per kWh paid by Albertans — which is the highest in Canada after the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.For an average EV that works out to about $10 per charge on the slower Level 2 units and up to $20 depending on the wattage of a faster portal.Earlier this summer, BC Hydro applied to increase time-based rates by about 15% but was roundly criticized for being unfair. Older EVs tend to suck up less juice at slower rates while the newer Teslas can suck it up in a faction of the time — as little as 15 minutes for 320 kilometres of range at one of its ‘superchargers.’The new submission is generally supported by a variety of groups, including the BC Old Age Pensioners Organization, the BC Sustainable Energy Association and Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association.“The proposed rates are just and reasonable. They are designed to fully recover BC Hydro’s forecast costs providing the public EV charging services on a levelized basis over 10 years, consistent with the criterion in the 2022 decision.”.Included in the proposal is a 40-cent-per-minute idling fee for those who hog the chargers, although there is a proposal to waive the penalty in non-peak hours from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. for condo owners and residents of apartment buildings who can’t install home stations.In addition, rates will remain constant regardless of which region the charger is located in a ‘postage stamp’ model — electricity rates are often higher in Fort Nelson than Vancouver, for instance. That’s important because BC Hydro has just 153 fast chargers at 84 sites in the province, the vast majority of which are concentrated in the Lower Mainland and urban areas. It plans to add about 3,000 more ports over the next decade.The BCUC is expected to make a final decision later this year.The federal government has chipped in $680 million to install 84,500 new units by 2029 as part of its mandate to have 100% of all new vehicles sold be electric after 2035.