Rural N.S. town becoming a leader in Canada’s electric car movement
The small town of Tatamagouche, N.S., is driving the future forward with its push for electric vehicles.
It's something that David Swan is passionate about. From 1986 to the early 2000s, Swan worked in electric chemistry in both Texas and California, heading research programs to build better batteries for electric vehicles.
"Returned home in the year 2003. I brought home with me an electric car from my work and started a business here in Nova Scotia," says Swan.
That’s when his ideas started to turn into reality. Swan and David Stevenson started working on renewable energy options for Tatamagouche and Pictou County.
"Different places in Nova Scotia have different levels of spirit, and energy and drive,” Stevenson says. “What we feel here is a series of leaders who have been available to say, 'let's try something.'"
And they did just that. With the help of shareholders and supporters, the Colchester-Cumberland Wind Field was installed in 2011.
"The wind field and electric vehicles go well together. We have renewable energy driving all of the houses and businesses in this area,” says Stevenson.
Charging stations can be found throughout Tatamagouche and surrounding areas. Nova Scotia Power says they’re on track to install 12 fast-charging stations near the province’s 100-series highways next year.
David Swan says there are charging stations all across the United States.
“I want Canada to keep up with the U.S. and be able to display and use this technology," he says.
Tri County Ford general manager Eric MacKeen is also looking ahead to the future of automotive, becoming the first Ford dealer in Atlantic Canada to have electric vehicles on its lot.
"It just kind of fit with where our community was headed, so we jumped on the wagon early and we've been supporting it ever since," MacKeen says.
MacKeen says the price of electric vehicles and hybrids is continuing to drop.
"It's the way of the future,” he says. “We're going to autonomous, electric cars and we're just going to make sure, in small-town Tatamagouche, that we're going to ride the leading wave."
It’s a passion that many in Tatamagouche want to share with Maritimers, so we can all be driving in the same direction.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.