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Kenora has recharging station on world’s longest
2012-12-15
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Kenora has recharging station on World’s Longest/Greenest Highway Project

Kenora now has the power to boost the electric car.

The Best Western Lakeside Inn became home to the first local recharging station for electric vehicles over the weekend thanks to a visit from the World’s Longest/Greenest Highway Project.

“I’m driving an electric supercar across Canada in the middle of winter. It’s the epitome of crazy Canucks,” said Christopher Misch, the vice president of sales for Sun Country Highway.

Misch is driving the Tesla Model S, the first electric car to be named Motor Trend Model of the Year. With 800 recharging stations across Canada and General Motors alone putting $700 million into research and development for electric vehicles, Misch sees a pedulum swinging in the industry and wants to be sure Canadians from coast to coast have the option of plugging in instead of gassing up.

In ideal conditions, the vehicle can travel 385 kilometres before it needs to be charged and new models have a battery estimated at 550 kilometres. The recharging stations Sun Country is installing across Canada are being placed from one to 200 kilometres apart. Some are at hotels, as is the Kenora site, where others are located in cafes, restaurants, hardware stores, municipal buildings and tourist attractions. Some are using the opportunity to shift to solar and wind power at the source. One on the East Coast is even stuck to the base of a lighthouse.

In the project’s second stage, it will attempt to fill the “brown zones” where the infrastructure doesn’t yet exist. Outside of Highway 17, most of Northwestern Ontario still doesn’t have that technology available but when it becomes available, Misch argues people all over the region will have the capacity to switch over to greener energy for their vehicles.

“We’ve electrified the TransCanada Highway. If a small company could do it, imagine what a big corporation could do — or a government,” Misch contemplated.

The Best Western Lakeside Inn intends to allow those driving electric vehicles recharge at the hotel for free, hoping to corner the market as it shifts gears toward a greener future.