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Are There Enough Electric Vehicle Charging Stations?

One of the main questions that continues to be asked is whether there will be an infrastructure for electric vehicles that adequately justifies such a purchase. More specifically, are there going to be enough electric charging stations should I choose to buy an electric vehicle?

Electric vehicles have achieved a new era of attention that has consumers seriously considering their options when it comes to their next purchase. Not only are companies like Tesla establishing a new chic in the electric vehicle sphere, but politicians are jumping on the bandwagon with huge funding commitments and ambitious targets.

As an example, Ontario’s recently released $8.3 billion climate change plan involves a pledge to provide generous subsidies that ensures at least 5 per cent of all vehicles sold in the province are electric by 2020. With up to $14,000 in rebates available, Ontario’s consumers are starting to make decisions that are not disproportionately determined by price.

One of the main questions that continues to be asked, however, is whether there will be an infrastructure for electric vehicles that adequately justifies such a purchase.

More specifically, are there going to be enough electric charging stations should I choose to buy an electric vehicle?

The fact is that while electric vehicles have been available for well over a decade, there isn’t a place in the world that has met political quotas for electric vehicles.

In Canada for example, cumulative sales of plug-in electric cars passed the 20,000 unit mark in May 2016. In 2014, there were 32,564,708 vehicles registered across the country.

Some jurisdictions are attempting to put in new building requirements for hew houses and residential buildings with regards to home-based charging stations. In reality, these kinds of actions are happening very slowly, due in large part to developers and potential home buyers from coast to coast to coast furiously opposing such measures.

Which then leaves the question of what is the time frame and coverage for electric vehicle infrastructure construction in Canada’s urban and rural centres? And will it be adequate for various types of trips?

The simple answers are yet to be determined, and not without far more density in terms of charging locations.

While cities like Vancouver now require 20% of the parking stalls in every new residential building include a receptacle for charging cars, coverage around the city can be described nothing more than sparse (Note: when considered against other Canadian cities, Vancouver is viewed as a leader).

These are the limitations that will restrict electric vehicles to being capable of travelling for short distances.

Just like other features of any other vehicles, consumers would be wise to consider how they plan on using their next vehicle, and whether an electric option make sense from a cost and convenience perspective.


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