All the buzz, both positive and negative, about electric vehicles (EVs) seems to focus on the issues surrounding their use in big cities. The limited range of EVs is often mentioned, along with the insufficient number of available charging stations. While various initiatives are in the works to address these problems, they still don’t add up to a positive outlook for urban drivers. And yet, no one’s talking about smalls and medium-sized municipalities, which are actually perfect for using electric cars.
If you exclude a few exceptions such as the Tesla, most EVs offer about 130 kilometres of range. That can make it tough to do some basic trips across major metropolitan areas (e.g., in the Greater Toronto Area, you can forget driving from Burlington to Oshawa) without having to pull over to charge the batteries. But if you live and work in a smaller city—like Fort McMurray, Alberta or Victoria, British Columbia—you can easily go about your day-to-day business in an EV, without ever having to worry about running out of battery. And even if you were to run out, the smaller size of the city means making your way home is less of a trek.
It’s true that public charging stations are scarcer in these places, but since most inhabitants live in single-family homes or townhouses, charging is a lot easier than in major centres where condo-dwellers are forced to park on the street.
The only real problem is that many smaller municipalities are located far from their larger counterparts, meaning EV owners would have to arm themselves with patience whenever they wanted to head into the big city. The other option would be renting a hybrid or conventional car for the trip.