February 24, 2015 7:58 pm
Updated: April 3, 2015 4:26 pm

More electric car charging stations? Regina is looking into it


REGINA – Does the city need more charging stations for electric vehicles?

Regina city council has asked for a report into the feasibility of supporting charging stations in a partnership with Sun Country Highway, an organization that promotes electric vehicles and provides charging stations to businesses.

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“There are people who want to buy an electric vehicle, but it’s hard for them because they don’t have the charging network to (travel long distances),” said James Dennis, Sun Country’s regional director of business development.

“The more chargers there are, the more vehicles that will come.”

He uses a high-end Tesla model to help promote the technology. On a full charge, which takes a few hours, you can drive about 400 kilometres.

Right now, you can charge an electric vehicle at five different locations around Regina. Sun Country has chargers located at hotels (Best Western Seven Oaks Inn on Albert Street and Delta Regina downtown) and retailers (Peavey Mart in east Regina), with Northgate Mall coming on board soon.

There are 31 electric vehicles on Saskatchewan roads, according to SGI, with 2,130 hybrid vehicles registered.

MORE: Consumers cautious about electric vehicles

Sun Country would provide a few chargers to the City of Regina for free.

“It’s not costing them anything but the installation ($500 to $1,000) and the little power it does draw, it’s brought back by people in the community spending dollars in stores, restaurants and hotels,” Dennis said.

The research could determine the cost of electricity to the City and where the charging stations should be located.

“Should we do it at city facilities? Should we do it at a pool or a park? Is city hall the right place?” asked Ward 6 councillor Wade Murray, who brought the issue before city council on Monday night.

A map of Sun Country Highway’s charging stations shows locations in communities big and small.

Sun Country Highway

Beyond Regina, there are chargers located in several Saskatchewan communities with three more launching soon, Dennis said.

While hopping in a $100,000 Tesla may not work for everyone, Dennis hopes to further push electric vehicles into the mainstream.

“The more chargers there are, the more vehicles that will come.”

Correction: an earlier version of this story erroneously stated the number of electric vehicles registered in Saskatchewan was 119, while the number of hybrids was 2,212.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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