The use of electric cars is a growing reality in our society and it's time contractors, builders and other organizations got on board, according to Hazel Rempel.
Rempel is the energy solutions sales manager in Western Canada for Nedco, one of the largest electrical and telecommunication distributors in the nation. She was recently in Nanaimo giving an educational session for union contractors, as well as strata and home-owner associations, on the increasing need to meet the needs of people who require infrastructure in place in their residences to charge their electric cars.
Rempel said that while the province and individual jurisdictions, including the City of Nanaimo, have been proactive in their efforts to place charging stations for electric cars in a number of public places, it's time to start the "next wave" in the process and begin installing stations in residences to meet the increasing need.
"It's a fact that electric cars are not going away and the current estimates are that by 2030, 60 per cent of the cars in B.C. will be electric vehicles," Rempel said.
"This is new technology for many and we're trying to help people understand what's involved. While the public charging stations are expected to be well used, the majority of the charging, approximately 60 to 70 per cent, is expected to be done at home in the future."
With the financial assistance of the province, the City of Nanaimo has recently installed charging stations for electric cars at a number of locations, including the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Beban Park and Port Parkade, and the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district has also designated a number of sites on its properties for the charging stations.
Rempel said that while such public sites are integral for electric car owners who plan to travel a distance from their homes, the growing need is for the integration of 30 amp, 240-volt electrical charging units in homes.
"Many home owners currently just don't have the electrical capacity to be able to charge electric cars and they would have to unplug almost everything else in the house to do it," she said.
"Sometimes, upgrades have to be done and we're encouraging builders and electricians to learn the new technologies and how to work with them."
Rempel said electrical cars are now selling twice as fast as hybrid models, largely due to the growing success of the Tesla models.
She said there are already waiting lists for the cars in many parts of the U.S., and expectations are that their popularity will continue to grow.
"People assume electrical cars are more expensive, but they are not taking into account the lower maintenance they require than other cars, as well as the costs of gas to run them," Rempel said.
"They are certainly not the golf carts many people think they are."
© Copyright 2013