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EV 101: EcoRun shows improving range and infrastructure

In the event’s first year, a truck and generator had to accompany the EcoRun participants. This year, writes Michael Bettencourt, the drivers simply stopped for lunch and stayed at hotels with charging stations

By Michael Bettencourt Wheels.ca

Jun 12, 2022 2 min. read

Article was updated 24 days ago

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When I covered the first Automobile Journalists Association of Canada EcoRun in 2012, only 12 of the 22 vehicles were electric, with the others featuring internal combustion engines with various forms of fuel saving technology.

A decade later, this year’s event was the first to feature only electric vehicles, with a notable shift toward more plug-in options and greater battery range. The extra range allowed organizers to plan a more ambitious EcoRun 2022, with drivers heading from Vaughan to Tobermory to take the ferry to Manitoulin Island, and then on to Sudbury, North Bay and back to the Toronto area.

The last leg of the rally, from Huntsville to Vaughan, was just over 200 kilometres, but double what the smallest range electric vehicle could achieve a decade ago. We didn’t even glance at the Ivy charging stations at the Innisfil ONroute as we zipped past this year.

In 2012, EV range and charging infrastructure were so poor, the association had had to rent a truck and generator to power mobile EV chargers. This year, we simply stopped for lunch and stayed at hotels with charging stations.

The point of the EcoRun rallies has always been to see if official fuel consumption figures could be exceeded, and with battery electric vehicles to see if range and charging infrastructure meet driver needs. We’ll delve into those numbers in a future column, but it seems EV range and Ontario’s charging infrastructure has grown exponentially in the last decade – and should continue to in the next 10 years.

Michael Bettencourt bought his first EV in late 2011 and has followed the Canadian EV scene ever since. Follow him on Twitter @MCBet10court

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