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Creating an equitable and inclusive experience for fully accessible EV charging

Dr. Yvette Jones, Project Leader, MAKE+ and Ms. Joey Dabell, Project Leader, SMART, Applied Research, were awarded BCIT Institute Research Funds of $25,000 for 2023/24 for the project “Creating an equitable and inclusive experience for fully accessible EV charging”.
man in a wheelchair charging an electric vehicle
Background: British Columbia leads Canadian provinces in the electric vehicle (EV) transition, yet most cities have no fully accessible EV charging stations, which creates barriers for drivers with disabilities. Maneuvering wheelchairs, transfers in and out of the vehicle, curb access, lifting the charger cable and handling the connection are just some of the challenges. Also, there are currently no standards guiding EV charging station accessibility. This isn’t a new problem. Similar challenges exist today for persons with disabilities accessing petrol stations that were never designed with this community in mind. But now we are at a point where we can “get it right” for EV charging infrastructure. Despite forming 15% of the population, this community has been largely excluded from activities surrounding climate action, including green transportation.

The goal of this research is to identify ways to enable this community to participate in creating a positive change and to enjoy the benefits of sustainable and healthy practices through full and equitable access to EV infrastructure.

Specific Objectives:

  1. Physical access to equipment
  2. Guidelines and Policies to support EV charger accessibility
  3. Technologies to support EV charger accessibility
  4. Fully accessible EV charging and parking station design and demonstration

The project outcomes will provide guidelines for municipal codes, government programs, utilities, and industry for accessible EV charging. The project aims to reduce barriers to EV adoption for persons with mobility disabilities and help to ensure this community is not left behind.

For more information about the Fully Accessible EV Charging initiative, please contact:

  • Joey Dabell M. Ed. B. Tech.
    Project Leader
    Smart Microgrid Applied Research Team
  • Dr. Yvette Jones PhD
    Project Leader, Human Kinetics