EDITORIAL: Electric express grows in region

Forget the Hydrogen Highway, electric is the new trend is clean motoring

More than 50 years after it first aired, many of The Jetsons nifty futuristic gadgets are ours.

The cartoon, which debuted in 1962 and was set in 2062, featured 3-D, flat screen TVs that hung on the wall, with on-demand news, video chat, robotic vacuums, moving sidewalks and   flying cars.

Though we don’t see bubble-topped, personal space craft filling our skies yet, we are getting closer to futuristic transportation with the emergence of electric vehicles.

A quick peek at the website plugshare.com and you’ll find close to 50 locations to charge your electric car in Greater Victoria – but will you find 50 electric cars?

Most electric vehicle owners have their own charging stations. These other spots, most of them installed by a business or government, are set up for convenience. The provincial government aims to have 570 charging stations set up throughout the province – at a cost of $2.7 million – this year.

The scheme is reminiscent of the mid-2000s Hydrogen Highway, heavily promoted by former California governator Arnold Schwarzenegger and then B.C. Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell. At the time, hydrogen fuel was lauded as the next big thing, but nary a personal vehicle fuelled by hydrogen travels our roads today.

Yet the EV charge is gaining momentum, and as more municipalities buy in to the technology, the better the infrastructure will become.

While consumers may still be shocked by the sticker price, electric vehicles have garnered glowing praise, and consumer demand will soon drive prices down. The convenience of charging stations in downtown parkades, at local libraries and in shopping malls is certainly an encouraging sign.

With charging stations beginning to crop up from Sidney to Port Hardy – and in City of Victoria parkades – it may not be long until we can fold up our cars and pop them into a briefcase as we arrive at our destination.