One of the biggest obstacles to the proliferation of electric vehicles has always been lack of infrastructure. Even if people were inclined to jump on the zero-emission transportation bandwagon, it was not always easy to find a charging station. Travelling cross country was almost prohibitive.
Now, Peavey Mart has partnered with Sun Country Highway to expand the country’s EV charging network. Last year, Sun Country completed the world’s longest charging network by installing chargers along the Trans-Canada Highway from Port Hardy, Vancouver Island all the way to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
This spring, Peavey Mart announced it would add to that infrastructure by installing the chargers at all its 30 locations across western Canada.
The charging station at Yorkton Peavey Mart was installed a couple of weeks ago.
Although store manager Dean Rugland said he has yet to see it being used here, he said the company is looking to the future.
“We’re not charging for the electricity,” Rugland said.
“It’s an added service for our customers.”
The 90 Amp charger is designed to charge quickly, Rugland explained. Depending on the vehicle and battery, users should be able to get a full charge in one to two hours.
Randy Goulden, executive director of Tourism Yorkton said it is a plus for the community.
“If people are thinking about travelling using that mode of transportation, it’s an opportunity for us to bring them here,” she said.
Tourism Yorkton will be adding the service to its promotional materials.
As of June, there were only 3,333 highway-capable plug-in electric vehicles registered in Canada, but the number is growing. Just halfway through 2013, more than 1,000 had been sold. Total sales in 2012 and 2011 were 1,824 and 468 respectively.
At least three provinces, Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario are offering rebates of up to $8,500 to purchasers of electric vehicles. Ontario is also offering an exemption to EV drivers to travel in the province’s carpool lanes regardless of how many passengers the car is carrying.