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Supercharger hub treatment for e-car ‘range anxiety’ on Hamilton Mountain

Posted: January 4, 2018

by Teviah Moro  Hamilton Spectato

FILE PHOTO: Work on 20 Tesla supercharging stations at Hamilton’s CF Lime Ridge mall is expected to wrap up in the next few weeks. – Spectator file photo

If you suffer from “range anxiety,” there’s a remedy on the Mountain.

Work on 20 Tesla supercharging stations at CF Lime Ridge mall is expected to wrap up in the next few weeks.

The electric car manufacturer knows where it clients are and what distance they need to drive from one station to the next, says Liem Vu, general manager of the mall.

“We see more and more customers at shopping centres that require charging stations due to range anxiety. For us, basically it’s a perfect fit.

Range anxiety is when drivers of electric cars worry about batteries running dry before reaching charging stations.

The 20 Lime Ridge stations add to the 16 on public property in Hamilton.

There are two at the York Boulevard Parkade, 10 at the Harry Howell (North Wentworth) Arena in Flamborough and four at Tim Hortons Field.

Electric car owners with adaptors for regular plugs can also charge up in the convention centre parking garage.

The city is working with a consultant to apply for free Tesla chargers, akin to the ones at Lime Ridge, says Kerry Davren, manager of parking operations and initiatives.

“It wouldn’t cost the city anything if we qualified.”

City Hall and the convention centre garage at 80 Main St. W. are eyed as two main locations.

There is an increased demand for charging stations, Davren says.

In fact, a few drivers have complained about permit holders parking all day and hogging stations at the York garage.

“I think we will probably put a two-hour time limit on it until we can expand the program,” Davren said.

Vu says Tesla was smart to choose the Upper Wentworth Street mall, placing the hub near the convergence of major highway routes.

CF Lime Ridge started working with California-based manufacturer in the spring with construction getting underway in late October.

The final stage, which involves hydro connections, has been delayed due to the current cold snap, Vu says.

Davren notes the increased popularity of electric cars comes as the province makes a push for greener energy consumption.

For instance, in 2016, Queen’s Park introduced the Climate Change Action Plan, which aims for an electric and hydrogen vehicle sales target of 5 per cent in 2020.

The province also hopes to make it easier for condo dwellers to have boards approve the installation of charging stations at the buildings via changes to the Condominium Act.

tmoro@thespec.com