Two electric vehicle chargers have been damaged in Qualicum Beach, rendering them inoperable, and leaving the community with only a few usable chargers.
The vandalism occurred sometime on Thursday night to two chargers — one by the public washroom on the Beach Highway, the other at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.
Roy Collver, director of the Mid-Vancouver Island Electric Vehicle Association (MVI EVA), called the act discouraging and senseless.
“Those EV drivers choosing to come visit Qualicum Beach may find it a challenge to be able to get back home as a result of this madness,” he said. “Also, there are some EV owners living in condos or apartment buildings who are unable to charge at home and depend on these machines.”
This type of theft does happen because of the copper wire in the charges that can be sold for scrap. Three units in Buckley Bay were vandalized in January during a similar incident, with the damage totaling around 10 thousand dollars.
For the Qualicum Beach incidents — the copper stolen would add up to less than $10, said Collver, but the damage is between $3,000 and $4,000 for the Qualicum Beach chargers.
Now, only three chargers remain — two in the village and one at the airport. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the chargers in the town hall parkade are not currently available.
“This type of nonsense is discouraging to say the least,” Collver said. “Unfortunately, the police are busy doing other things, and during the COVID-19 crisis, these chargers are unlikely to be repaired.”
So far, members and friends of the MVI EVA have fundraised a $300 reward for information leading to the theft.
If anyone has any information, please call the Oceanside RCMP at 250-248-6111.