How do we see the future? So many difficult decisions to be made. If we fail to prepare for the future economy, we risk being left behind. If we act too quickly based on false assumptions, we risk wasting precious economic capital chasing tangents.

I do believe the time has come for Valemount to seize a unique opportunity. Last week Tesla motor announced it will be ramping up production of its electric vehicles to produce at least 500,000 units/year of its new Model 3 by 2018. To put this into perspective, there are approximately 23,000,000 personal vehicles registered in Canada.

It is expected Tesla will meet these production expectations and then exceed them exponentially by 2020. In short, the fully-functional electric vehicle is finally here, and it will only get better and better. With a maximum range of around 400km, we have entered the age of electric vehicles without compromising any of the functionality of gasoline. Based on any standard exponential curve that usually applies to technological progress, it is safe to assume that by 2020 maximum range will be over 600km, and already analysts are looking at 1000km as a realistic target.

So how do small towns like Valemount seize this opportunity? Look at a map. We are already almost exactly one charge-distance from Edmonton. A charge up in Valemount easily gets you to Merritt or Hope as well as Kelowna. Then Vancouver, or the ferry to the Island.

How do we attract people off of the highway and into our downtown core and old Main Street? I believe the time has come for Valemount to embrace charging stations. There should be charging stations especially in proximity to our cafes and restaurants. Quick charge options are only 20-30 minutes, but why not encourage people travelling through to plan on staying a full 2 hours?

Sure it will cost a bit of money, but we cannot afford to lose this opportunity! Unlike gasoline or diesel, there are not dispensary regulations or environmental issues to worry about. Charge stations can literally be installed on the sidewalk curb of 5th Ave in a matter of hours.

The future is full of opportunities, but only for those willing to seize the moment. Small towns must take actions that distinguish themselves from other small towns.

Joseph Nusse