MILLBROOK - Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade could easily be tempted to give up his trusty truck in favour of a new electric car.
Gloade was one of a handful of people who gathered to look at, and test drive, a 2012 Tesla Roadster electric car in Millbrook yesterday. A new electric car charging station has been installed at the Glooscap Annex in Millbrook, beside the Glooscap Heritage Centre.
"People have needed something like this for a long time ... there's no fuel, it works amazingly well and is quiet," said Gloade.
The vehicle, which costs upwards of $200,000, was on display by Sun Country Highway. The company's president, Kent Rathwell, said electric cars are indeed the way of the future.
"Electric cars have been around for hundreds of years but failed because of the infrastructure. We didn't have the electric charging stations but now we do," said Rathwell. "There will be about 200 charging stations in Canada by the end of the year."
Rathwell said most of the charging stations are free to use across the province once the locations they are provided in, such as in Millbrook, provide installation costs and energy to operate them. The cost of a charger is about $2,000.
Rathwell said it takes about three hours to fully charge an electric car, which can travel more than 300 km once fully charged. And for stations that did require payment, Rathwell said it would only cost upwards of $5 for a full charge.
Rathwell said there are only about 50 of the electric cars in Canada and more than 2,500 worldwide.
"There was a limited edition and they are sold out."
He said new models are being constructed and more will be revealed in about a month.
Tatamagouche's David Swan, a board member with Electric Mobility Canada, said he's driven electric cars since 1986.
"I see them as a way of the future. We use so much imported oil now and the electric cars use so little energy ... it's about being sustainable economically and environmentally," said Swan.
He admitted it's not a concept everyone would embrace.
"It takes a while to turn over" from the vehicles and habits people are already comfortable with, Swan said.
And there are some aspects of electric vehicles that are not attractive to the everyday person. For example, Gloade said, if an electric car needed maintenance, it would more than likely have to be returned to a manufacturer, hours or provinces away, to be fixed. Rathwell said as the vehicle becomes more popular that situation will change.
"There will be more and more charging stations and places for repairs throughout the province," Rathwell said.
For more information on electric vehicles, including new models soon being offered, some of which are not immediately available in Canada, log onto www.suncountryhighway.ca