When Brock Nanson purchased his home at Sun Peaks in Oct. 2015, he was looking forward to spending his weekends skiing at the mountain. But as the owner of a Tesla, a car that runs on an electric battery, he wanted to ensure he wouldn’t be left stranded in the village without a charge.
When fully charged the car can easily make the round trip from Kamloops. But “vampire loss”, charge that is lost over days of being parked, can eat away at even a full charge, decreasing the range of the battery.
He started the process to have a charge station installed in the resort for public use. After a year and a half of research, planning, and work a private station was installed at his home in Settler’s Crossing in Feb. 2017.
It’s the first one at Sun Peaks, but Nanson said he believes there may be demand to install more. The station installed currently services his private parking space at the complex and is paid for out of his pocket. He said he has no plans to make it available for other owners of electric vehicles as it would break strata rules and he would be charged for the electricity.
Nanson said he believes a public charger, whether in a residential or public area, would be used and will attract drivers who may not consider visiting Sun Peaks otherwise.
“There is enough demand,” he said. “I have seen other Tesla owners at Sun Peaks in the past. There is a huge market of Tesla owners to be tapped in the Lower Mainland and
He said electric vehicle owners often check for a public station or one offered at a hotel or business before travelling and may be willing to pay more for accommodation with access.
Nanson also pointed out that as lower cost electric cars, like the Tesla Model Three or Chevrolet Volt, enter the market they will be more accessible to consumers.
As a part of the Multi Unit Residential Building Charging Program grant, which provided 75 per cent of the funding, all five buildings in Settler’s Crossing were set up to add stations in the future.
Nanson said it would be easy, and likely inexpensive, to install one for public use in the village with grant programs and free chargers offered by Tesla in destinations that install the stations in visible or convenient locations.
Rob Bremner, chief administrative officer for Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality, said they haven’t heard much demand for stations but they have been approved by Tesla for a free charger and are searching for the best place to install it. Ideally, he said, it will be available by the end of summer.
“There is no cost,” he said. “We just need a place to put it.”