The electric vehicle charging station at Ross Street Plaza saw 250 visits in 2018. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Car charge stations don’t spark surge of traffic

Electric vehicles still occupy only a tiny portion of automobile market

Electric cars are not surging into Salmon Arm, despite welcoming innovations in town.

The city’s electric vehicle charging station in the Ross Street Plaza – officially called a DCFC (Direct Current Fast Charging) Station – has been used nine times so far this year. Throughout 2018, it was used about 250 times, report city staff.

However, it’s not the only charging station in town. Those publicized include one at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College, one at the Co-op Gas Bar, two at the Comfort Inn & Suites (one Tesla, one regular), one coming to the Petro Canada gas station and a Tesla charger at the Hilltop Inn, formerly the Podollan Inn.

Jolene Lamarsh, Hilltop Inn manager, says hotel owner Ming Zhang from Vancouver drives a Tesla so he was likely keen to have a charger. At the Comfort Inn and Suites, staff say they don’t keep track of how often their chargers are used, but “every so often.”

Read more: Two stalls for charging electric cars approved

Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce Manager Corryn Grayston says over the last year the Visitor Centre had four people stop in regarding their electric cars.

“We get the odd person asking about the car charging stations. I think for the most part they are pretty savvy about this and map out their routes beforehand on where the stations are located.”

Read more: Powering up on campus

Read more: Electric cars more affordable than you think

Hybrid and electric cars don’t appear to be a booming commodity for car dealerships in Salmon Arm.

In terms of hybrids, Troy Blais, sales manager at Hilltop Toyota, says they’ve been around for a while and the dealership sells about 10 a year. He’s not sure how many residents make out-of-town purchases, as he’s noticed that hybrid buyers tend to shop around for a long time.

As for ‘plug-ins,’ he says the Prius Prime came out last year and the dealership sold three. 

“It’s a very, very small part of the market,” he says of electric cars in general.

Over at Salmon Arm GM, owner Ian Gray says his location doesn’t carry the Chevy Bolt, but it is available in other towns in the region. His dealership does service three electric vehicles – a Cadillac, a Bolt and a Volt.

In B.C., he says, electric cars make up less than one per cent of the market.

Looking at the evolution of the electric car, Gray compares it to the stages of movie players. He sees the current stage as the Beta stage – he expects the product will evolve in the future while prices will drop.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UBC researchers want to hear from rural Shuswap residents on health care

Once completed, the project will inform health care planning and policy decisions

Truck rollover west of Sicamous disrupts traffic for hours

The evening rollover on May 25 temporarily halted highway traffic near the Bernie Road intersection.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Thunderstorm possible for South Okanagan

The rest of the region will enjoy a sunny day.

Photos: Over 80 competitors took part in 3D Archery Shoot

The event is hosted by the Salmon Arm Fish and Game Club

Girl, 9, out of ICU after carbon monoxide poisoning in Shuswap tent

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

KFD, COSAR rescue injured Okanagan hiker

Rescue happened after 1 p.m. on Lost Lake Trail in Kelowna after woman injured her leg

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Neighbours help save Okanagan garage fire from spreading

Neighbours knock down fire enough before BX-Swan Lake firefighters arrive to fully extinguish

Kamloops RCMP investigate violent home invasion

Police believe the incident was targeted

Letter: Sicamous Bike lanes going unused

This letter writer feels too many people are forgoing bike lanes to ride in the street

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Most Read