Kent Rathwell lifts the hood on the all-electric Tesla during Tuesday's open house in Port Hardy.

Kent Rathwell lifts the hood on the all-electric Tesla during Tuesday's open house in Port Hardy.

Charge stations connect Vancouver Island

A new series of charge stations for electric vehicles spans the Island

PORT HARDY—Eventually, Sun Country Highway would like to blanket Canada, North America and beyond with the infrastructure necessary to power electric vehicles.

Vancouver Island is already up and running.

“First Vancouver Island, then the world,” said Kent Rathwell, president and founder of the Saskatchewan-based company, during an open house held at the local visitors’ centre Tuesday morning.

Rathwell and other members of the Sun Country Highway team were in Port Hardy to announce that they have completed the installation of a series of EV charging stations that will allow electric car drivers to travel from Victoria to Port Hardy — and make side trips to Tofino and Telegraph Cove along the way.

“We’re here to prove the EV industry can happen,” said Rathwell. “It’s happening today, and this is just the start.”

The Sun Country team, including Rob MacGregor, regional director for British Columbia, powered its four-vehicle fleet at a new EV charging station installed last week at the visitors’ centre. Another charging station was installed in Port Hardy at Orange Tabby Bed and Breakfast and two more were installed Tuesday morning at the North Coast Trail Backpackers Hostel.

Port Hardy Mayor Bev Parnham, Chief Administrative Officer Rick Davidge, councillor John Tidbury and staff of the Chamber of Commerce were among those in attendance at Tuesday’s open house.

They were treated to a look at a high-powered, all-electric Tesla sport coupe capable of 400 kilometres per charge, as well as a Chevy Volt and two large, extended-range vehicles — a full-sized pickup truck and a 12-passenger van — built by Via on Chevy truck chassis.

The chargers, provided at no charge by Sun Country Highway, are 90-amp units capable of fully charging most electric vehicles in a matter of two to three hours. That compares to the overnight charge time of the typical home-based chargers, which operate at 15 to 20 amps.

“Manufacturers haven’t wanted to build electric cars because there’s not enough infrastructure to power them,” said MacGregor. “And nobody’s built the infrastructure because there aren’t enough cars to make it worthwhile.

“Now, there’s no excuse why they can’t start pumping these out. It’s all going to come.”

To link North Vancouver Island with the South through large stretches of remote country, Sun Country Highway has installed an EV charger in Sayward, at Fisherboy Park, and another in Woss, which was donated to the Regional District of Mount Waddington and installed Wednesday at a utility station just off Highway 19.

Sun Country now want to take the system all the way across the country.

“We’re out to show this is something not just for inner-city corridors,” said Rathwell.

 

Just Posted

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

North Island Gazette
EDITORIAL: What to do about homelessness in Port Hardy

‘people suffering from homelessness deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion’

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read