Monday, 29 June 2015

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Chevrolet Volt plugging into the Chargepoint station at Bare Oaks

There has now been a Chargepoint Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station at Bare Oaks for about a year. The dual-port station is part of our commitment to the environmental aspect of the naturist movement. It is free for registered visitors and members. We didn’t think that it would get much use so we were surprised by the number of cars we’ve seen charging in the past year: A couple of Teslas, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion plugin hybrid, Nissan Leaf, and a Smart electric.

Visitors should request a charging session when they register at the office. Members who will regularly be using our charging stations should order a card from Chargepoint. After you receive it, please come to the office to have it authorized for our charging station. You then won't have to come to the office each time you want to charge your EV.

Here are various places you can see the listing for our charging station:
There are 3 basic types of car chargers:
  • Level 1 – Your standard 120 volt wall plug
  • Level 2 – A 240 volt specialized charger, usually with a J1772 connector.
  • Level 3 – A high-speed charger that will recharge a car to 80% in 15-20 minutes.
We have a dual, 6.6 kW, Level 2 charger. Of course, it’s not as fast as a Level 3 charger. But most people who come to Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park want to stay for a while. This charging station makes getting here well within range of just about any EV owner in the Greater Toronto Area.

Some people criticize the high cost of the cars. But price keeps dropping as the technology improves. Like anything else, somebody needs to invest in the beginning so that new technologies can develop. In addition, an EV will save you money too. Depending on the car you have, driving a kilometer on electricity will cost you 75%-85% less than using gasoline. And electric motors require much less maintenance than internal combustion engines.

Another criticism is that the electricity used by the cars creates as much pollution when it is generated. But that is not correct:
  • As the Plug 'n Drive website explains: "because power stations run more or less continuously at efficient cycles, an electric car fully charged with coal or fossil fuels still produces less emissions than a gas car." But our province does not generate electricity exclusively from fossil fuels.
  • Ontario has eliminated all coal-fired generating plants.
  • 23% of Ontario's electricity is generated using water power
  • Ontario is investing heavily in the development of clean electricity generation through solar and wind power.
  • 58% is generated using nuclear which does not generate greenhouse gases or airborne pollution. Of course there are other concerns with nuclear generation.
So even if we take the greenhouse gases created by electricity generation, EVs make sense. Plug 'n Drive did the calculation:
The average driver in Canada drives 20,000 km over the course of a year. In that time, a gas car would emit more than 3,500 kg of C02 into the air – while the EV would emit just 340 kg. If just five per cent of Ontarians switched to electric cars, Ontario could reduce its C02 emissions by over 1.9 billion kg. 

Interested in an electric car?  Plug 'n Drive has a list of EVs available in Canada.