Electric Cars in the Kootenays: Fast Charging is Here

After last week’s announcement of 13 DC fast charging stations for electric cars in the Columbia Basin, there has never been a better time to get off gas and go electric. With more than a dozen level II chargers already available in the Kootenays and 40 more on the way, the first of the new DC fast chargers already installed in Cranbrook, and a $5000 government rebate on electric cars, going CO2-free is easier than ever.

Last week, Accelerate Kootenays unveiled their map of planned EV charging stations, connecting Highways 1, 3, and 93 with 13 DC fast charging stations and adding 40 more level II stations across the Columbia Basin. DC fast chargers, which can add 5km per minute or more of range to an electric car’s battery, make stopping to fill up with clean, renewable BC electricity a quick stop. Soon, range anxiety for electric car drivers in the Kootenays will be a thing of the past.

Speaking of range, the long-anticipated Chevy Bolt, a 383km range electric car with a reasonable price tag, is now available in the Kootenays and soon to join the Nissan Leafs, Teslas, and Chevy Volts already quietly travelling Kootenay highways from homes in Fernie, Nelson, Kimberley and even Kaslo. And for those who aren’t quite ready to get entirely off gas, the Chevy Volt, an 86km range electric car with a seamless backup internal combustion motor for those longer trips, has been travelling Kootenay highways for nearly five years. With a $5000 rebate on the table from the BC Government, going electric is definitely affordable.

Of course, the real savings with electric vehicles come when you fly past another gas station without stopping. Instead of filling up your tank, you spend only roughly two cents in electricity per kilometer when you charge up at home. And when you are on the road or charging up in town, level II chargers in the Kootenays are still generally free. Even costs for DC fast charging are still far less than prices at the pump.

But electric cars aren’t just cheap to drive – they’re fun to drive too, with plenty of power available almost immediately (and far faster than the time it takes a gas engine to rev up). And even when you stomp on the accelerator, you get that warm and fuzzy feeling inside that comes from doing something significant to reduce our carbon emissions.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Accelerate Kootenays to see their video on a Nissan Leaf winter driving adventure, check out of the map of coming charging stations and learn a little about electric cars in the Kootenays.

Still not convinced? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to put you in touch with a local electric car driver who can share their experience.

Photo credit: Accelerate Kootenays