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This article was published 27/5/2016 (2231 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Which came first, the electric vehicle or the charging station?
It’s the modern-day equivalent of the chicken-and-egg argument, and Paul Edmond would like to put an end to it.
The CEO of Edmond Financial Group has installed a pair of electric-vehicle charging stations outside its offices at 420 Academy Rd.
He said even though only a handful of Manitobans drive electric vehicles, he strongly believes the trend is irreversible.
"People won’t drive electric vehicles if they can’t charge them anywhere, but it’s coming, and it’s coming fast," he said.
The charging stations are made by General Electric and cost about $25,000 total to install. Every vehicle is slightly different, but it takes approximately four hours for a full charge.
There are about 20 charging stations throughout the province, including at the CAA Manitoba location on Milt Stegall Drive, the Forks Market, Fort Whyte Alive, IKEA, the Brandon Comfort Inn, Birchwood Nissan and Jim Gauthier Chevrolet.
Edmond hopes to make back some of his investment by having local businesses advertise on and around the charging stations.
"We’re going to give away energy for free," he said. "We need chargers like this everywhere. At some point, we’ll have more EV (electric vehicle) stations than gas stations."
Electric vehicles are a trend that has been building slowly, but things are still in the early adopter stage, said Erika Miller, spokeswoman for CAA Manitoba. She said manufacturers such as Smart, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Chevrolet and Tesla all manufacture electric vehicles. They can start as little as $26,000 for a Mitsubishi i-Miev or exceed $100,000 for the Tesla Model S.
"Manufacturers are making it easier than before to buy and own one, and when businesses such as Edmond Financial install charging stations, it makes it easier to charge your car on the go," she said.
Just how far you can go on a single charge depends on the vehicle and how you drive, but a rule of thumb is anywhere from 100 kilometres to 250 km, she said. One local woman says her electric can go up to 500 km on a single charge.
Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting was attended by Jim Carr, the federal minister of natural resources, and Ron Schuler, provincial minister of Crown services. Carr called Edmond’s charger unveiling not only a "great development" but a sign of what’s to come.
"We all know that transportation makes up a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions, and to gradually move towards electric vehicles is the way forward. To see it happening right here in our community is very encouraging," the Winnipeg South Centre MP said.
Ottawa has committed $62.5 million over two years for charging stations and natural gas and hydrogen refuelling stations across the country, Carr said, and it will be sending out calls for proposals shortly.
Ultimately, he said he’d like to see charging stations "all over the place."
Edmond’s charging stations are hooked up to his building and are adjacent to two of his parking spots. The spots are reserved for clients during weekday business hours. but they’re open to electric-vehicle owners from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday to Friday, and all weekend long.