A step for­ward

More fast charg­ing sta­tions com­ing for elec­tric ve­hi­cles in the Mar­itimes

Cape Breton Post - - News -

Driv­ing an elec­tric car along Canada’s rugged East Coast is about to get a lot eas­ier.

Elec­tric util­i­ties in both Nova Sco­tia and New Brunswick are mov­ing ahead with plans to in­stall more charg­ing sta­tions along ma­jor high­ways.

“It’s a good step for­ward,’’ said Wayne Groszko, re­new­able en­ergy co-or­di­na­tor with the Hal­i­fax-based Ecol­ogy Action Cen­tre. “When they’re in place, peo­ple will be able to drive their elec­tric cars far­ther. I see that as a good thing.’’

In Nova Sco­tia, the province’s elec­tric util­ity an­nounced Wed­nes­day it will set up 12 more sta­tions along the province’s 100-se­ries high­ways, though the lo­ca­tions have yet to be de­ter­mined. Nova Sco­tia Power Inc. says th­ese sta­tions will offer so­called fast-charg­ing, which will dra­mat­i­cally re­duce the time it takes to charge elec­tric-only ve­hi­cles.

The av­er­age charge time for Level-3 fast-charg­ers is 15 to 30 min­utes, whereas most of the 100 or so Level-2 charg­ers in Nova Sco­tia take from three to eight hours, and a reg­u­lar house­hold out­let can take 12 hours or more. (There are cur­rently only two Level-3 charg­ers in the province — one in Hal­i­fax, the other in Truro.)

Nova Sco­tia Power says the new sta­tions, which should be ready by next spring, will en­able elec­tric ve­hi­cle driv­ers to travel from Syd­ney to Yar­mouth with­out wor­ry­ing about where they can charge their bat­ter­ies. Fast charg­ing will cost $10 per hour, or $2.50 for a 15-minute ses­sion.

“Elec­tric ve­hi­cles are the fu­ture and we want to help make Nova Sco­tia ready for that fu­ture,’’ Nova Sco­tia Power CEO Karen Hutt said in a state­ment.

New Brunswick’s NB Power an­nounced a sim­i­lar plan last month, com­mit­ting to adding 10 Level-3 fast-charg­ing sta­tions along the Trans-Canada High­way, from Ed­mund­ston to Au­lac.

Cur­rently, New Brunswick has more than 50 stan­dard Level-2 charg­ers.

Prince Ed­ward Is­land has about 30 Level-2 charg­ers, and New­found­land and Labrador has about two dozen.

Groszko says the shift to­ward elec­tric ve­hi­cles will even­tu­ally have a big im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment. In Nova Sco­tia, driv­ers of fully elec­tric ve­hi­cles typ­i­cally pro­duce 30 per cent less green­house gasses than those driv­ing gaso­line-pow­ered ve­hi­cles. That num­ber will im­prove as the province re­duces its re­liance on coal-fired gen­er­at­ing plants, which cur­rently pro­duce about 50 per cent of Nova Sco­tia’s elec­tric­ity.

“The sav­ings will get bet­ter over time,’’ he said.

On a per capita ba­sis, how­ever, the At­lantic prov­inces are well be­hind Que­bec, On­tario and Bri­tish Columbia when it comes to charg­ing sta­tions and elec­tric ve­hi­cle own­er­ship, said Sanjeev Pushkarna, Nova Sco­tia

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