New Brunswick tries to ease the pain for electric vehicle owners

New Brunswick tries to ease the pain for electric vehicle owners

NB Power increases charging infrastructure for skittish electrical vehicle drivers

NEW BRUNSWICK is working to erase range anxiety among drivers of electric vehicles in the province.

In April the province’s electrical utility, NB Power, and the federal government announced a partnership that will see 10 fast-charging stations for electric vehicles installed along the Trans-Canada Highway. It’s an effort to convince residents in New Brunswick, and visitors to the province, that there are enough charging stations to allow them to get them from point A to point B without running out of power if they use electric vehicles.

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NB Power currently has nine of its own charging stations across the province (the utility says there are approximately 50 in the province.) But those stations are 240-volt chargers and are used for hybrid vehicles—units that can run on both electricity and gasoline. The 10 fast-charging stations that will be installed this year are 400-volt chargers and are for electric vehicles only. Using these chargers, owners will be able to recharge their electric vehicle to approximately 80 per cent of its capacity within 30 minutes.

The utility hasn’t decided where it will install the 10 stations along the Trans-Canada. But it says it wants to have them in place by July. The drive to build out more electric vehicle charging infrastructure is seen as a way to help New Brunswick reduce emissions and the carbon emitted by drivers. The utility says New Brunswick’s cars and trucks burn more than 1.1 million litres of gasoline each year and emit more than 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

“Our solutions will greatly assist in the transition to clean energy solutions that lower our overall impact on climate change,” says Brad Wasson, NB Power’s director of product development. “Electric vehicles are much less expensive to fuel and a greener way to travel. In New Brunswick, an electric vehicle owner can shrink their vehicle’s carbon footprint by about 80 per cent, thanks to our renewable and non-emitting energy supply,”

The utility estimates there are currently about 100 electric vehicles in use in the province, and the company has replaced 25 per cent of its entire light duty passenger fleet vehicles with electric vehicles. The addition of 10 fast-charging stations won’t result in everyone in New Brunswick running out to buy an electric vehicle. But it certainly won’t hurt efforts to get more of them on the road.

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