P.E.I. electric car owner celebrates high-speed charging station announcement

An electric car owner on P.E.I. is celebrating the announcement of new high-speed charging stations in the province's capital budget. He says P.E.I. is currently behind the other Maritime provinces in what it offers for charging electric vehicles.

'We need this to keep up, we're pretty far behind right now'

Mike Kenny stands next to his new 2015 Nissan Leaf, plugged into a charging station outside the efficiencyPEI office on Belvedere Avenue in Charlottetown. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

An electric car owner on P.E.I. is celebrating the announcement of new high-speed charging stations in the P.E.I. capital budget for 2019-2020.

The budget sets aside $730,000 for the new chargers.

"It's very exciting," said Mike Kenny, who purchased a 2015 Nissan Leaf in Quebec earlier this month.

"I have a Facebook page and the folks who are on the page are ecstatic about the new chargers especially the DC chargers."

Kenny says his car will be able to charge from almost empty to 80 per cent in 30 to 45 minutes on a DC charger, compared to six to eight hours on his charger at home. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

The DC, or direct current charger puts energy directly into the battery in the car. 

Kenny says his car will be able to charge from almost empty to 80 per cent in 30 to 45 minutes on a DC charger, compared to six to eight hours on his charger at home.

Helpful to visitors

According to the capital budget, P.E.I. will add six new level-3 fast chargers and 12 new level-2 chargers. 

The plan is to set them up in six locations, with one level-3 and two level-2 at each.

Kenny says the new chargers are much needed, especially for electric vehicle owners who want to travel to P.E.I.

Besides the charging stations, Kenny would also like to see incentives for purchasing electric vehicles on P.E.I. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

"The folks who are coming down through New Brunswick from Ontario and Quebec, they have no trouble getting through New Brunswick and once they get to P.E.I., they're kind of stuck," Kenny said.

"They can make it across but then it's hard to travel around the province."

'Pretty far behind'

Kenny is also hoping the new high-speed chargers will inspire more Prince Edward Islanders to consider electric vehicles.

"P.E.I. is behind, we need what's been announced in the budget, we need this to keep up, we're pretty far behind right now," Kenny said.

"It will make it much much easier to get around the Island for tourists and folks who are interested in getting an electric vehicle and are uncertain as to the infrastructure."

A total of 18 new charging stations were announced in the 2019-2020 capital budget for P.E.I. (Oliver Walters/CBC)

In a statement, the Electric Vehicle Association of Atlantic Canada also expressed its support for the new chargers on P.E.I.

"These new chargers will make it easier for electric vehicle drivers to commute in the province and will incentivize more Islanders to consider an electric vehicle as their next purchase," said Kurt Sampson and Jérémie Bernardin from the association.  

"Connecting P.E.I. to the rest of the Maritimes, Eastern Canada, and most of North America with a fast-charging network will enable and encourage EV tourism."

The provincial energy department says it is still working on determining the locations and timelines for installing the chargers.

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About the Author

Nancy Russell

Nancy Russell has been a reporter with CBC since 1987, in Whitehorse, Winnipeg, Toronto and Charlottetown. When not on the job, she spends her time on the water rowing, travelling to Kenya or walking her dog. Nancy.Russell@cbc.ca