New Island dealership for used electric cars aims to fill 'significant gap' in market

A location solely to buy used electric cars has opened on the Island. It's believed to be the first in the Maritimes, according to an association that represents the industry in Atlantic Canada. 

Owner Michael Kenny wanted to open Pure EV after hearing about the difficulties in trying to find an electric car on the Island. 

"Some people would come here from away and they'd be shocked that there are no electric vehicles to purchase here," he said.

"I wanted to put an end to that."

Kenny said that by opening a used car dealership, he can provide product at a cheaper price point. 

"Used EV's — you can get into them without having to spend over $40,000."

"I like the old saying that somebody has to go first." - Michael Kenny, owner, Pure EV

Jérémie Bernardin, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Atlantic Canada, said it's an important step for P.E.I. to take.

"There is a significant gap right now in the market that no one is filling," he said.

"Having a specialized electric used vehicle dealership is going to be fantastic."

Bernardin believes this is the first of its kind in the Maritimes. There was one dealership in Newfoundland in the past, but that closed he said. 

The cars Kenny intends to offer at his Charlottetown location will range in price from around $16,000 to just over $30,000.

He currently has 3 Nissan Leafs on the lot, but plans to eventually expand his offerings to also include Teslas.

"I'm going to be slow to grow. I'll probably have 3 or 4 cars in stock at all times."

'We're finding some really good deals'

Isabella Zavarise/CBC

Kenny is the sole employee at Pure EV and drives to and from Quebec to source his product.

"I drive overnight, get the car, get it loaded, and drive back," he said. 

Bernardin said neighbouring provinces like Quebec help drive down the price of used vehicles because of strong federal and provincial incentives. 

"So, we're finding some really good deals and some great opportunities to purchase some fantastic vehicles that are perfect for our climate," he said.

Last week, the province announced it would add more electric vehicle charging stations across the Island. Kenny said he hopes this momentum continues to build.

"I think it's important that the government continue to promote the use of electric vehicles and perhaps the option to incentivize the products."

Kenny said he hopes his venture into electric vehicles will influence other car dealerships on the Island to do the same. 

"I like the old saying that somebody has to go first," he said.

"I think it's well worth taking the chance." 

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