Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Plug-in Hybrid Chevy Tahoe charges up in Burlington, ON?

A plug-in hybrid Chevy Tahoe?
Sorry folks this is just a teaser. The above vehicle that LOOKS like it is being charged, is my 08 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid parked at the Pioneer Gas Station at the corner of Mainway and Appleby Line in Burlington, ON. Unfortunately, nobody is making Tahoe Hybrid conversion kits to PHEV yet. If you hear of any companies that roll out such a kit please let me know. I have been searching high and low now for two years.

BTW I have 165,000 kms on this vehicle without a single problem. I get about 830 kms to a tank. I chose it because I have the 'Brady Bunch' fam, so it is both the most responsible and practical vehicle for me.

The Eaton level 1 charging station featured in the photo is one of the first ever EV charging stations in Canada. It was installed as a part of a pilot project called GridSmartCityTM which was developed in conjunction with Burlington Hydro, Pioneer Gas, Rapid Electric Vehicle Technologies Inc., of Vancouver, BC and other stakeholders.

Funny thing is, there is no signage at this EV charging station to educate passersby on what this strange looking device is used for. Having closely evaluated a number of EV charging stations from a breadth of companies on a past mission to become an EV charging station sales rep, I can say that this particular unit is unique. On the back side of the station there is the familliar looking electrical metering device like on the side of your home with the round glass cover telling me this is a one of a kind prototype station. Eaton Corp has an office just up the street from this Pioneer Station on Mainway also which I have visited, so I know they have newer generation stations on the way that look a little more styled up for prime time. Have a look at the GE Wattstation or the Aerovironment Fleet Stattion and you will see what I mean. 

"I had to add this photo to the blog! A a bunch of politicians and biz leaders hugging a EV charging station. The first thing that came to mind was, can you imagine the same happenging back in 1888 in  WieslochGermany where the first petrol filling station was installed? Who would have wanted to hug a stinky gas pump? I am sure they did anyways."
The GridSmartCityTM program is Burlington Hydro's efforts to transform today's electricity system into the smart grid of tomorrow. For more information on the GridSmartCityTM program visit www.gridsmartcity.com.

The only EV charging station in Canada listed on a Goggle search is Qualicum Beach, BC

"The first "drive-in" filling station, Gulf Refining Co.opened to the motoring public in Pittsburgh in 1913.[8]  Prior to this, automobile drivers pulled into almost any general or hardware store, or even blacksmith shops in order to fill up their tanks. On its first day, the station sold 30 gallons of gasoline at 27 cents per gallon." -- Wikipedia

Having toured around Ontario always keeping my eyes open for EV charging stations, I can tell you that there are a few stations installed out there, but not many, and clearly, nobody has tapped into the notion of getting them listed on Google Maps. A quick search for electric vehicle charging stations in Canada reveals 1 lousy station! In the US, almost 2,000. The truth of the matter is, Better Place alone has already installed 15 in the GTA and of course the Eaton/Burlington Hydro/Pioneer one in Burlington brings the total to at least 16 in Ontario.

No EV charging stations on Google Maps in Golden Horseshoe! The only EV related reference of all the bogus red search dots is me--Precept EV in lowly Stoney Creek, ON
Here is a short video of my first experience with a DC fast charging station at the Olympic Village in Vancouver.

I am building a list now of the known addresses for charge points so if you know of any other EV charging stations around the country please send me the physical address along with a photo and I will add it to Google Maps.

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