Mr. Kent Rathwell, President and Founder of Sun Country Highway, looks on as Mayor Elliott plugs in at City Hall.
There is only one City Hall in all of Alberta where motorists can stop to re-fuel their vehicles…Wetaskiwin, Alberta. On Wednesday, July 11, City Hall received shipment of a new product line from Mr. Kent Rathwell, President and Founder of Sun Country Highway. As Mayor Elliott, City Manager Ted Gillespie, Head of Economic Development, Ron Holland and other spectators looked on, Kent unveiled a CS Series EVSE electric vehicle charging station.
City Officials met Kent at a conference in Saskatchewan and were so impressed with his product, they convinced him to donate one to the City of Wetaskiwin and in turn they would promote his product to motorists requiring charging of their vehicles.
The evCHARGER is that, a battery charger. It’s a metal box approximately 16” X 16” X 4” deep that converts 110 or 220 Volt electricity to re-charge the battery in an e.v., or electric vehicle. The charger is connected to the vehicle with a cord and special attachment similar to electricity connections on an R.V.. The technology is readily available from different suppliers and is not proprietary.
“What makes us unique”, responds Mr. Rathwell to the question, “ is yes, there are charging stations out but there what the industry is telling us is we are the only guys who are going out there and putting the charging stations in. We are not waiting for government grants. We are out there getting it done. For example you can travel anywhere on Vancouver Island where we’ve set up enough charging stations that you can drive anywhere in an electric car or an extended range car like Volt that uses electricity and gas.”
In response to , what does a charger cost. “A regular charger can range anywhere from $1000 up to $10,000 but those systems are around 30 – 40 amps, Level 2, you know 220 and our system is up to 100 amps and we have them at $1999.” Sun Country Highway has approximately 100 recharging stations in operation including several in Alberta. And pretty soon, another in Wetaskiwin.
“Why Wetaskiwin. Well, they approached us.” Mr. Rathwell admits there has been considerable criticism about batteries and ‘what happens to them when they wear out’. His response is that he knows of batteries in vehicles that have been in operation for 11 years that were made using 15 year old technology. “And it (the technology) has improved a great deal in those 15 years.”
How long will the charger stay in Wetaskiwin? Mr. Rathwell indicated that the charger given to Wetaskiwin is not a loaner. “It’s here for City Hall”. So as long as there is a City Hall and they want to offer the charging services, the charger remains in Wetaskiwin. The charger, will be installed adjacent to City Hall and will be operational in the very near future.
For more information, contact City Hall at 780 361 4400. For more information about the chargers contact Kent at 306-612-4600.