Saskatchewan

With just 5 electric cars in Regina, need for more chargers questioned

With only five electric cars registered in Regina, it might cost too much for the city to set up more charging stations, a report says.

3 high-current chargers might cost $26K to install, report says

Electric cars like this Tesla are a rarity in Regina, something the city should keep in mind if it ponders installing public charging stations, a report to council says. (Redmond Shannon/CBC)

With only five electric cars registered in Regina, it might cost too much for the city to set up more charging stations, a report says.

While it's technically feasible for the city to set up high-current charging stations for Teslas and other all-electric vehicles, the costs are "significant", an administration report says.

The report, which goes to the city's public works and infrastructure committee Thursday afternoon, notes that there are about 2,000 hybrid (gas-electric) vehicles in Saskatchewan, but those don't require charging stations.

In contrast, there are just 31 electric-only vehicles registered in the province and of those, only five are in Regina.

A company called Sun Country Highways Ltd., has a program that would allow Regina to obtain three 72- or 90-amp charging stations for free — although the city would have to pay for installation and maintenance.

The city report says it could put the three at the Sportplex, the Northwest Leisure centre and the Sandra Schmirler Leisure centre. They would cost a total of about $26,000 to install, with annual maintenance costs estimated at about $300 per charger.

A cheaper alternative would be to make a standard 15-amp outlet available for charging cars, but this was described as more of an "emergency option" that would require a special adapter and would be "very slow."

The report makes no recommendation about whether or not to proceed with more chargers, saying that will be up to council to decide. 

Right now, there are four charging stations at private businesses in Regina and a fifth is in the planning stages, the report says.

That means there will soon be one charger for public use for every electric car in the city.

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