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Electric vehicle use on the rise in Saskatchewan, SaskPower planning for more in the future

Electric vehicle use on the rise in Saskatchewan, SaskPower planning for more in the future
WATCH: SaskPower is looking to hear from drivers of electric vehicles about their experiences as more are hitting the streets.

With more electric vehicles hitting the streets in Saskatchewan, SaskPower and electric vehicle associations are now looking to hear from drivers about their experiences.

The number of electric vehicles is growing every year in the province, but finding a place the charge up can be a challenge.

Read more: “It’s absolutely fantastic news:” Electric vehicle sales double in Saskatchewan

Kyle Fisher has driven an electric vehicle for about a year and a half, and he’ll be the first to tell you he loves it.

“I really like not needing to put up with gas or oil or all the old-school things other cars have,” he said.

One old-school thing these vehicles don’t have: gas stations as easily available.

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There are around 50 public charging stations in the province, according to SaskPower.

Fisher points out unlike other vehicles, drivers of electric vehicles usually have chargers at home so there’s no anxiety about short trips within the city.

“This car can go just over 400km, which is decent,” he said. “It can get you places, but once you get there there’s no place you can charge up quickly.”

Over the past decade, the number of registered electric vehicles in Saskatchewan has grown from just 28 in 2015 to over 300 in July 2020, according to SGI.

Read more: ‘I don’t think I could go back’ Why this Calgary driver has chosen an electric car

The survey being conducted by SaskPower, the Saskatchewan Electric Vehicle Association (SEVA) and SaskEV — two electric vehicle associations — will look at things like where people charge their cars, at what times, and whether more stations are needed.

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“We’re still looking for providers to step forward and offer more options on the corridor to Edmonton, the corridor up north through Prince Albert, even the corridor down to Regina is a little bit light,” said SaskEV president Jason Cruickshank.

“That’s still the struggle.”

Fisher said he believes with more “fast charge” stations — which typically take about an hour to charge a vehicle over the nine hours it says it takes him at home — more people will hope on the electric track.

“I have a lot of in-laws that would be interested, but they simply don’t have any infrastructure where they are and they need to make longer distance trips because they need to come into the city and back,” he explained.

The survey is open online. SaskPower said its results will influence how it plans its grid to accommodate the growing number of electric vehicles in Saskatchewan in the future.