By Andrea Arnold

Tesla has announced that both McBride and Valemount are two of the eight new supercharger locations being installed in Western Canada over the next two years. Valemount will receive their station first, with a target opening in the last quarter of 2023. McBride will follow in the first quarter of 2024. At this time, the Village of McBride does not know where the new charge station will be placed, but confirmed it will not be on Village property. Valemount Mayor Owen Torgerson confirmed that the station that will be installed in Valemount will consist of multiple chargers, and will be located on the Esso gas station property.

On April 10, 2023, Tesla’s 45,000th supercharger was turned on, after the company made the jump from 40,000 in just five months. The number of activated locations at the end of 2022 was 42,419. This means that since the beginning of 2023, they have been activating an average of 30 chargers every day.

A supercharger can add up to 322km of range in just 15 min of charging. The Tesla website says because charging above 80 per cent is rarely necessary, stops can be short and allow drivers to spend more time on the road. A destination charging station provides almost 71km of range after an hour of charging.

Also, in the beginning of April, Tesla’s first V4 Supercharger was opened for non-Tesla vehicles in the Netherlands. The standard Tesla charging station presents a challenge for other vehicles. These adapted stations have a longer charge cord to allow customers to reach charge ports around their vehicle, not just in the standard location on a Tesla. They plan to make at least 7,500 chargers available to all electric vehicles in the United States by the end of 2024.

These new Superchargers will be in addition to the ones already existing in the communities. Both Valemount and McBride have three existing charging locations. Centennial Park, the Canoe Valley Recreation Centre and the Best Western are sites available for those looking for a charge in Valemount. In McBride, there are two in the parking lot next to the Village office, one at the Robson Valley Recreation Centre and one at Steve Kolida Park.