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Saskatchewan News

Trans-Canada Highway becoming more electric-car friendly

Reported by Kevin Martel
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A group doing a cross-country tour has some encouraging news for those of you contemplating -- or who already have -- an electric vehicle.

There are now more charging stations for you to power up at across Canada, Sun Country Highway said Wednesday in Regina.

“We’ve installed charging stations from coast-to-coast and are allowing people with electric vehicles to now travel from sea to sea across the longest, greenest highway in the world, which is the Trans-Canada Highway, emission free and free of charge,” said the group’s president and founder Kent Rathwell.

Rathwell is doing the tour in style to help garner attention and spread the word. He’s driving a $200,000 2012 Tesla Roadster. He charged it up in the basement of the Delta Hotel in the city’s downtown and said charging stations are set up around the country in other hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

The charging station at the Delta hotel in Regina for electric vehicles. Kevin Martel/CJME

He said the electric vehicle movement rises up every now and then, but usually dies off.

“The common denominator for that, in my eyes, has been simply lack of infrastructure, lack of places to charge a car, lack of distance to go,” he said.

“Now there’s no issue there in regards to being able to travel across the country.”

Some EVs can go up to 400 kilometres on a charge. It usually takes between a few hours and a few days to charge, he said.

While Rathwell isn’t saying how many charging stations Sun Country Highway has set up right now—he’s purposely waiting until the end of the tour to announce that—he said he hopes to have a thousand set up by the end of 2013.

“The real goal is to try to green our transportation sector, whether that’s the electric vehicle industry or increasing mileage on the fossil fuel cars,” he said.

Edited by CJME's Karen Brownlee.