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Owen Sound hotel part of electric car charging network
2013-08-02
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Presqu’ile resident and Owen Sound lawyer Allen Wilford stands with his Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car at Inn on the Bay in Owen Sound on Wednesday.

Owen Sound Suntimes, July 31, 2013

Allen Wilford says the only mistake he made when purchasing his electric car was that he didn’t buy it a year ago.

The Presqu’ile resident and Owen Sound lawyer has had his Mitsubishi i-MiEV for about a month now and he couldn’t be happier with how it has performed.

“It costs me about 25 cents to get from Presqui’le to the office and back,” said Wilford. “It is unbelievable. The handling is good, the 140-kilometre range will take me to Southampton, to Thornbury, Wiarton, anywhere around the area. I drive all week and never a problem.”

Wilford, an environmentalist, said he had been researching electric cars for a while and decided it made sense for him. He has also realized cost savings in not having to change oil, fuel filters and air filters.

“The only service is the tires and once in a while the brakes,” said Wilford. “I will maybe use $20 worth of electricity a month. If I fill my other car up, it is $75 every time I turn around.”

The upfront cost for the i-MiEV, which is an acronym for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle — was also very affordable, coming in at about $18,000 after an $8,200 government rebate and a $7,000 manufacturer’s rebate.

Wilford was at the Best Western Inn on the Bay on Wednesday where representatives from Sun Country Highway, an electric vehicle infrastructure company that makes electric vehicle chargers, had stopped as part of promotional tour of its network of electric vehicle charging stations in southwestern Ontario. Other Grey-Bruce stops on the tour included Kincardine and Hanover.

Wilford said the range of 140 km has yet to be an issue for him.

“We have recharging stations all over the province now and they are all free,” said Wilford. “All you ever do is top up. I can go from here to Hanover and from there to the next step.”

Christopher Misch, vice president of Sun Country Highway, who was making the tour of the area in an electric supercar called a Tesla Roadster, said the charging stations allow electric car owners to charge more quickly than if they just plug into a 110-volt wall outlet. By having the infrastructure in place, electric vehicle owners can travel over longer distances.

“If we can build infrastructure every 50 to 100 K, that person who is doing the urban commuting can also go wherever they want to go. They can just top up and charge,” said Misch. “They can take an i-MiEV all the way to London now, whereas before they couldn’t.”

The Inn on the Bay location is the first electric charging station in Owen Sound, said Jason Hemstock, general manager of the hotel. He said they installed the station as soon as it arrived in February because there was such a demand for it.

“We have had guests come in to stay overnight, we have had guests come in for the restaurant. We have even had a guest who used it while there was a wedding on,” said Hemstock. “There has been a limited opportunity to bring their electric vehicle up here because the electric charging stations just haven’t existed, but now as they pop up you are starting to see electric vehicles making that trip.”

Wilford said having the charging station in Owen Sound is going to draw electric car owners to the area.

“When I plan to go somewhere I look to go where the stations are,” said Wilford. “I am going to stop there to have dinner, lunch, coffee, breakfast, whatever, while I top up. It is going to be a drawing card.”

Read the article at the Owen Sound Suntimes