Sun Country Highway 401 corridor mapEnlarge Photo
Electric-car owners may want to consider a road trip to Canada.
Sun Country Highway (SCH) has just opened an extension of its network of charging stations to cover the length of Highway 401 between Detroit and Montréal.
The new stations join the company's existing corridor of free Level 2 charging stations lining the Trans-Canada highway.
Electric-car drivers will have 17 stations to get them between Montréal the capital of Québec and the Motor City.The stations are spaced 31 to 60 miles apart, the Globe and Mail reports.
The 401 corridor will benefit electric-car drivers in both Ontario and Quebec who were previously "city-locked" by a limited, urban-centric charging infrastructure.
SCH partnered with municipal governments and local businesses and organizations to install the stations and provide electricity at each location.
This past Monday, a convoy of plug-in cars--a Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Model S, Tesla Roadster, and a Vtrux electric van--set out on a trip from Montréal to Detroit to unveil the new electric car-friendly corridor.
"The 401 Highway is the busiest highway in North America," SCH president Kent Rathwell said, "and now business travelers and eco-tourists have the option to travel emission-free--a huge step toward a more sustainable future."
Currently, all of SCH's 240-volt Level 2 charging stations are free to use. SCH says it offers charging stations that run at up to 100 amps, future-proofing them to some degree for cars that could benefit from charging at higher currents.
That said, these stations still take a few hours to recharge the battery pack of a typical electric car like the Nissan Leaf.
A 2013 Leaf with the new 6.6-kilowatt charger can recharge completely in 3 to 4 hours at a Level 2 charging station--versus half an hour for an 80-percent recharge at a much more expensive (and rarer) DC quick-charging station.
SCH's Trans-Canada electric highway opened last year and--like the 401 corridor--it was christened with a road trip.
Rathwell and SCH vice-president Christopher Misch drove a Tesla Roadster from St. Johns, Newfoundland, to Victoria, British Columbia, unveiling charging stations along the way.
With another route now added to the Sun Country Highway map, electric-car drivers will have one more option for long-distance trips--in Canada, at least.