It has been utilized by some drivers, but soon a fast charging station could boost use of electric vehicles in the Valley.
Just Us! has expressed interest in becoming one of 12 fast charging stations across the province. Nova Scotia Power (NSP) plans to install 12 stations as part of a pilot project.
Sanjeev Pushkarna, who is NSP’s project lead, hopes that Nova Scotians will soon be able to drive electric vehicles from Sydney to Yarmouth without having to worry about where they can charge their batteries.
The pilot project will study the impact and usage of the network on the electrical system. The network will be ready for use in the spring of 2018.
“Electric vehicles are the future, and we want to help make Nova Scotia ready for that future,” said NSP president Karen Hutt. “These charging stations will make it easier for Nova Scotians to own and drive an electric vehicle. And this project will help us understand how to make Nova Scotia more EV-friendly for customers, while managing any impact to the electrical grid.”
Pushkarna, who hails from Kentville, says the average charge time for the new level three chargers is 15 to 30 minutes, whereas most public chargers in Nova Scotia take three-eight hours, and a regular home outlet can take 12 hours or more.
He said it is not a matter of if electric vehicles will become common, but when because the savings will be significant.
A full charge, Pushkarna noted, will cost just over $2. Currently it costs Just Us! about $4 for a full charge. The coop keeps a reserved parking space by the charger. Currently there are a couple more level 2 charging stations in Middleton and at the Kentville arena.
Pushkarna adds that as Nova Scotia increases renewable energy sources, electric vehicles will become a very positive story.
“They need less maintenance and less trips to the shop,” he said,
With greater efficiency, Pushkarna believes that more drivers will become big fans of electric vehicles.
Tatamagouche resident David Swan said, “I’m thrilled to see this investment and endorsement by Nova Scotia Power that electric vehicles are the way of the future.” Swan is an electric vehicle owner and past board member of Electric Mobility Canada.
“Up until now, higher vehicle purchase costs and lack of infrastructure were significant barriers to consider buying an electric vehicle,” Swan said.
“A fast charging network, combined with more electric vehicles in the market, creates a win-win situation for more sustainable transportation in Nova Scotia.”
In a 2016 survey undertaken by Nova Scotia Power, one third of respondents said they would consider an electric vehicle as their next car, while 65 per cent said they would consider an electric vehicle if more charging stations were available.
Nova Scotia Power has already issued a public Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking location partners and installation contractor to create the new network. For more information on the new Nova Scotia Power electric vehicle fast charging network and the benefits of owning an electric vehicle, visit www.nspower.ca/ev.