One of the biggest issues with rolling out large numbers of plug-in vehicles is figuring out where exactly to connect them to the grid. Cities around the world are looking at how to implement large numbers of public charging stations as well as support charging at home. Much of the territory in Canada lies in far northern areas where temperatures get extremely cold during the winter. In many of those areas it's not at all unusual to find posts sticking up out of parking areas with electrical outlets. These are of course used to power the block heaters that are often necessary to keep the engine coolant from freezing at extreme low temperatures.

While these plugs could certainly be used to charge electric vehicles, they would not be very practical. These are 110V (typically 15A) plugs that would take a very long time to charge an EV – something many early MINI E customers found out the hard way. The other problem is that while much of Canada is in cold northern areas, most of the population lives in a very small area along the southern edge of the country. Most of the people likely to adopt EVs live in places like Toronto and Vancouver where these block heater plugs aren't common in public places. The exceptions might be Winnipeg, Montreal and Quebec City which do get very cold in winter. Relatively few people live in places where block heater plugs are common and the rural nature of those areas makes them less suited to EVs. Thanks to Frank for the tip!

Photo by ffg - Flickr - Creative Commons

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