Nova Scotia

Halifax rolling out 8 new electric vehicle chargers this summer

The city of Halifax plans to roll out electric vehicle (EV) chargers in sites across the municipality this summer for the growing number of people making the switch from gas cars to EVs.

Regional council is also setting fees for fast and slow chargers

A charger is seen plugged into a blue electric car
Halifax will start installing eight new EV charging stations around the municipality this summer. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

The city of Halifax plans to roll out its first electric vehicle (EV) chargers in sites across the municipality this summer for the growing number of people making the switch from gas cars to EVs.

This week, Halifax regional council moved along a proposed bylaw that would set fees for new EV chargers, with eight expected to be in place by the end of August.

"The discussion at council was, 'What about my district? I want one too.' And that's good. Everybody wants one, everyone sees the need. This is a good start," Coun. Tony Mancini said Wednesday. He is also the chair of the city's environment and sustainability standing committee.

The sites include Alderney Drive, St. Margaret's Centre in Upper Tantallon, Cole Harbour Place, Armdale Roundabout, J.D. Shatford Memorial Library in Hubbards, Bedford Park and Ride, Canada Games Centre and Musquodoboit Harbour Library.

The eight sites were chosen based on existing public charging infrastructure, the average driving distance of residents and building density. Ten more will be added over the next year, and Mancini said there are plans for more in future years.

Halifax has been working toward bringing in the chargers since an electric vehicle strategy was approved in 2021, which recommended building 1,000 charging stations in the city over 10 years.

Right now most EV chargers can be found at gas stations or businesses, but some other municipalities around Nova Scotia have also installed their own chargers. Mahone Bay had eight as of 2021, and New Glasgow installed three of their own chargers in April.

Most of the new Halifax-area sites will have a 175 kilowatt Level 3 — or fast charger — and two 7.2 kilowatt Level 2 chargers, which are the most common around Nova Scotia. Users will pay a set fee per charging session, rather than a fee based on the amount of electricity consumed.

The Level 2s will cost $1.80 an hour, and a staff report said most EVs would take a few hours to fully charge. The Level 3s will be set at $45 an hour, but Kevin Boutilier with the municipality's environment and climate change department told council Tuesday most EVs won't need the full hour. He said 20 minutes will give most cars an 80 per cent charge at a cost of $15.

A white blonde woman is seen on a Zoom screen wearing a blue shirt
Sarah Balloch oversees electric vehicle programs for the Clean Foundation in Nova Scotia. (CBC)

"We are so excited to see more charging infrastructure come into place. It's going to be fantastic for those driving EVs already. It's going to be really wonderful for those considering it," said Sarah Balloch, who oversees electric vehicle programs for Nova Scotia's Clean Foundation.

The Halifax fees are comparable to what Level 2s are already, Balloch said, while the Level 3 fees are reasonable for the quality of charger.

"It really feels like they've done their due diligence to make sure that what they're bringing to the city is a good product, is going to be useful, is going to be in great spaces," she said.

2,000 estimated electric cars in N.S.

Balloch said she's seen a large spike with EVs in recent years, with a current "educated guess" of about 2,000 EVs on the roads in Nova Scotia compared to about 800 two years ago.

She said they have also seen more people accessing their rebate programs, which cover EV purchases under about $55,000 and apply to more than 40 models as of this month. This summer is also expected to be their busiest summer "ever" at their Next Ride pop-up events, where people can test drive EVs and ask questions, she said.

"[It's] really exciting growth, like you can really see the curve has started," Balloch said.

Emma Murphy is one of those recent EV buyers. 

Murphy, who runs Uprooted Cafe Market & Cafe in Musquodoboit Harbour, said her family bought a Tesla Model 3 and have found it easy to use on day trips and everyday commuting.

A blonde woman in a black sweater smiles at the camera as she holds a basket of produce. She stands in the middle of a market with shelves of vegetables
Emma Murphy recently installed a Level 2 electric vehicle charger at Uprooted Market and Cafe in Musquodoboit Harbour. (Makenna Reid)

She installed a Level 2 charger at the cafe last month for customers, and is expecting it to be well-used this summer by people driving along the Eastern Shore. 

"It's really great to start seeing more and more on the road and just hearing more people interested," Murphy said Wednesday.

"It's not scary, like you know, it really is … so doable and it's really exciting to see the transition happening. Like it's going to happen a lot faster than people think it is."


Haley Ryan


Haley Ryan is the municipal affairs reporter for CBC covering mainland Nova Scotia. Got a story idea? Send an email to, or reach out on Twitter @hkryan17.

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