By Jamie Mountain
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
TEMAGAMI – The owners of the Our Daily Bread grocery store in Temagami recently gave the municipality a boost - literally.
Dirk and Joanne Van Manen have installed Temagami’s first electric vehicle charging station, eCAMION Inc’s Jule Energy charging station, beside their business and it has been up and running since December 11.
“About three years ago, a company called eCAMION was looking to install charging stations all along the Trans-Canada Highway. They checked out our area and contacted a few possibilities, us being one of them, about having the station set-up here,” explained Joanne Van Manen in a telephone interview.
“The two other people that they contacted, it wasn’t feasible for them for whatever reason. So they started working with us.”
eCAMION Inc is a Toronto-based company that is a technology provider for flexible battery storage, electric vehicle charging, and energy management solutions.
The charging stations the company provides are free to use and can support both CHAdeMO and CCS ports (the two types of plugs an electric vehicle can have) and can charge up to three vehicles simultaneously.
“We decided to install charging at Temagami as part of our effort to provide fast-charging infrastructure to underserved parts of Ontario,” said Alice Wang, product marketing manger for eCAMION Inc, in an email interview.
“This deployment will make it easier for EV drivers to travel along the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 11, whether for work or leisure.”
Wang noted that the Jules Energy stations charge at a Level 3 speed level (50 kilowatts), meaning it can fully charge a typical EV battery in under 45 minutes.
“How long a vehicle runs on a charge depends on weather conditions, driving speed and most of all battery size,” she explained.
“As an average, 350 kilometres is about how far a vehicle can travel on a full battery.”
While she felt that there could be a need within Temagami for an EV charging station, Van Manen said having the Jule Energy station installed was aimed more at those travelling through the area.
“My sister has an electric car, too, so she would use it,” she said.
“There’s no one in this area that I’m aware of that has an electric car, so it’s more for travellers.”
Dirk Van Manen noted that they knew of a man who travelled from Toronto to Kapuskasing on a monthly basis and does so with an electric car.
“So he was asking questions about our charging station, just a week or so ago. He’s probably going to stop in and try to use it,” he said.
“We’re probably ahead of schedule, you might say, for the electric cars but I think that the economy is speeding up quite quickly, that there will be more around soon, in a few years.”
Joanne Van Manen said that she and Dirk, who also own Docks Plus Temagami, aren’t able to keep track of how often the station has been used. But she said the reception so far from the community has been positive.
“All we do is keep it clear (of snow) around there,” she said of the charging station.
“I put the news of installing the charging station on our Facebook page, for Our Daily Bread, and I’ve reached 5,194 people with it. The comments have been very, very positive.”
Dirk Van Manen conceded that the charging station likely wouldn’t be in high demand over the winter, but he was optimistic it would be used more in the warmer months.
“I’m sure in the summer we’ll see vehicles parked there,” he said.
Wang added that there are great benefits with Temagami having the charging station, one being that it is able to include the promotion of electric vehicles being accessible and viable choices in such a relatively remote neighbourhood.
“Also, we hope that the availability of charging in Temagami will mean that Temagami receives more visitors who stop by while they’re on the highway,” she said.
Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker