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EV charger gives jolt to downtown
2015-05-28
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Aaron Cameron, May 27, 2015 - The Pictou Advocate

NEW GLASGOW – Wave to the future, Pictou County. It has arrived.

A new Electric Vehicle (EV) charger was just unveiled near Glasgow Square. The addition of the charging station means that there is now electric coverage from Antigonish – which has one charging station – to Truro – which has three stations – or to Tatamagouche, which is spoiled for choice when it comes to EV chargers.

David Stevenson, an electric vehicle enthusiast, helped co-ordinate the placement of the charging station which was provided by the Sun Country Highway company.

Stevenson said with the New Glasgow station installed there are currently 50 units in Nova Scotia and he notes there could be another 50 units by next year.

“Lots of people are getting to know more about the cars,” Stevenson said. “There’ll be more charging stations coming.”

Electric car drivers typically plot out their journey, knowing exactly where they will recharge and for how long. It’s not unlike the adventures of a gas driver, just with bit more care, thought, and planning.

“With electric, where the range is a little less you still have to know where you can plug in,” Stevenson said. “Once you get into this way of thinking it’s easy.”

New Glasgow’s unit is a fairly powerful one – 240V AC at 90A of current while today’s electric cars are only 70A – whereas units in Halifax and Truro are designed more for a speedy recharge, which is something electric drivers factor into their planning as every model of car is a bit different.

“The one in New Glasgow is very important for people in the local area or they may be travelling a distance and they can stop and charge their car for an hour,” Stevenson said.

And the charger’s location near Glasgow Square provides a picturesque setting to wait for full charge.
“If you have a Nissan Leaf or a Chevy Volt or cars that don’t take as much electricity, if they charge for an hour that gives them pretty good range for their vehicles.”

This means that people in the area may now have an incentive to purchase an electric vehicle, while electric drivers from away now have a reason to stop in New Glasgow. And incentive is key.

“One of the difficulties we have is we don’t have any incentive to purchase the cars in Nova Scotia which means the manufacturers aren’t sending any great quantities of cars out this way,” said Stevenson.

Many people will head to Quebec where electric cars are more commonplace and buy used vehicles, he said.

Stevenson said using maps from plugshare.com or suncountryhighway.com will provide electric drivers with coverage clear across Canada, something he knows from experience. Stevenson recently travelled to Vancouver in his Tesla Model S for a mere $130 in electricity – or that is, he would have paid that much if anyone let him pay for power. He found that people were too interested in the car, and restaurant and hotel managers were too pleased he stopped by their establishments, to charge him. He estimated the same trip in a gasoline-fed car would have cost $900. It is doubtful anyone would have been impressed enough to pay for his gasoline.
Read the article at The Pictou Advocate